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May 13, 2010 11:58 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Mortgage rates drop to lowest level this year

Mortgage rates fell this week to the lowest level of the year. The drop was caused by a high demand for U.S. government securities, which closely track mortgage rates, as investors fled risky European debt.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 4.93 percent this week from 5 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

It was the lowest level since mid-December, when rates averaged 4.81 percent.

Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rates often fluctuate significantly, even within a given day, often tracking the interest rate paid on long-term Treasury bonds.

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