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Mortgage rates have fallen to record lows for three straight weeks

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Rates on 30-year mortgages have fallen to record lows for the third consecutive week as inflation remains muted in a weakened economy, even in the face of persistent demand from home buyers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the key 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.03 percent, down from 3.07 percent last week and 3.13 percent two weeks prior. These were the lowest levels since Freddie Mac began tracking averages in 1971. The rate averaged 3.75 percent a year ago.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also dropped to 2.51 percent, from 2.56 percent last week. That average is down from 3.22 percent a year ago.

Rates are making homes more affordable as potential buyers, who had been shut in, appear to be returning to the market. Pending home sales jumped a record 44.3 percent in May as a comeback appears to be building in the sector, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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