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U.S. 30-year mortgage rate falls to record low

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WASHINGTON >> The average U.S. rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record low for a fourth straight week. Cheap mortgages have helped boost home sales modestly this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rates on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.78 percent. That’s down from 3.79 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The 15-year mortgage, a popular option for refinancing, held steady at 3.04, matching the record low hit last week.

Rates on the 30-year loan have been below 4 percent since early December. The low rates are a key reason the housing industry is flashing signs of a recovery five years after the bubble burst.

In April, sales of both previously occupied homes and new homes rose near two-year highs

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