Fixed mortgage rates for 30-year U.S. home loans fell for the first time in three weeks as a Federal Reserve program of buying home-loan securities reduced rates.The average rate for a 30-year loan fell to 4.82 percent from 4.86 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac, the McLean, Virginia-based mortgage buyer, said today in a statement. The 15-year rate averaged 4.50 percent, down from 4.52 percent. A Federal Reserve program to buy as much as $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities helped push rates to a record-low 4.78 percent twice in April. The Fed is seeking lower rates to spark property buying even as house prices fall. The Fed also plans to buy up to $300 billion in Treasury securities to keep interest rates low.
By Brian Louis, May 21, 2009, Bloomberg

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