RATES FALL: Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the third straight week to their lowest point in three months, as a decline in consumer confidence and the onset of the government shutdown forced rates down.
THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.22 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage declined to 3.29 percent from 3.37 percent.
THE REASON: Rates fell this week as the government shutdown starting Tuesday prompted investors to sell stocks and buy Treasury bonds. Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.
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