National mortgage rates for Dec. 6, 2012

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 3.5% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.40 (average points)

Mortgage rates inched down this week and reached new record lows as investors kept their gaze on the "fiscal cliff."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 2 basis points to an all-time low of 3.5 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 1 basis point to 2.85 percent. The average rate for 30-year jumbo mortgages, or generally for those of more than $417,000, fell 2 basis points to 3.98 percent.

The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage was 2.74 percent, the same as last week. With a 5/1 ARM, the rate is fixed for five years and adjusted annually thereafter.

The volume of mortgage applications increased 4.5 percent last week, compared to one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association

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