: Average U.S. mortgage rates fell to fresh record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales.
THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average 30-year loan rate dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating back to 1971. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 2.63 percent, also a record.
HOUSING RECOVERY: Home sales and construction are rising, providing a much-needed boost to the economy. Lower rates have also persuaded more people to refinance. That usually leads to lower monthly mortgage payments and more consumer spending.