RATES NEAR RECORD LOWS: Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages stayed close to record lows this week, a trend that is boosting home sales.
THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average 30-year loan rate ticked up to 3.32 percent. That's close to last week's rate of 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage edged up to 2.64 percent from 2.63 percent, also a record.
HOUSING RECOVERY: Lower mortgage rates have helped lift home sales and construction, providing a much-needed boost to the economy.