: Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week to near their record lows, offering more incentive for consumers to buy homes and to refinance.
THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average 30-year loan rate dipped to 3.32 percent from 3.34 percent last week. That's slightly above 3.31 percent, which is the lowest rate on records dating to 1971. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage declined to 2.66 percent from 2.67 percent. It's slightly above the record low of 2.63 percent.
HOUSING RECOVERY: Lower mortgage rates have helped spark a modest housing recovery.