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Jul 29, 2010 10:15 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Mortgage rates hit record low of 4.54 pct.

Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest level on record for the fifth time in six weeks, making homebuying and refinancing the most attractive in decades for those who can get loans.

Freddie Mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed loans this week was 4.54 percent, down from 4.56 last week. That's the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971. The last time home loan rates were lower was during the 1950s, when most mortgages lasted just 20 or 25 years.

The rate on the 15-year fixed loan dropped to 4 percent, down from 4.03 percent last week and the lowest on record. Rates have fallen since the spring. Yields on U.S. Treasury bonds have dropped as jittery investors seek safer investments. Mortgage rates tend to track yields on Treasurys.

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