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Low Mortgage Rates Near All-Time Low

Some reports suggest the drop in mortgage rates after the Federal Reserve's move Thursday to buy another $750 billion in mortgage-backed securities is just the beginning.

Freddie Mac's weekly rate report says 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to an average of 4.98 percent this week, down from 5.03 percent last week and just shy of the all-time low 4.96 percent in mid-January. But not everybody will be able to get a break, especially people who do not have a lot of equity in their homes -- one of the biggest problems facing owners now as housing values drop.

Nationally, the average conforming 30-year fixed rate for the week ended yesterday was 4.94 percent. The rate drop is likely to encourage more borrowers to see whether they can qualify for the lowest rates.

However, some mortgage brokers were disappointed on Thursday, saying lenders had not pushed down rates as dramatically as had been hoped. Credit remains tight, and lenders that are not connected to banks and must rely on short-term funding are having trouble raising cash.

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