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Consumers take advantage of low mortgage rates during holidays

Consumers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates during rough economic times.

Consumers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates during rough economic times.

Freddie Mac recently released results from its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which showed mortgages rates at an all-time record low, keeping home buyer affordability high.

The the 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate averaged 3.91 percent during the week of December 18-23, which was an all-time low, breaking the record which was made in the previous week, of 3.94 percent.

"Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have been at or below 4 percent for the last eight weeks and now are almost 0.9 percentage points below where they were at the beginning of the year, which means that today's homebuyers are paying over $1,200 less per year on a $200,000 loan," said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft said.

Nothaft went on to say that homebuyers have taken advantage of low rates to purchase property, as existing home sales reached an annualized pace of 4.42 million in November, which was the fastest pace since January. New construction of single-family homes is also up.

While low mortgage rates and home prices is good news for buyers, the situation is not so favorable for sellers. Zillow recently announced that homes will lose close to $700 billion in value by the end of 2011, which might keep homeowners from packing up and moving.