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Uncertainties of Sandy, election drop mortgage rates

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — With the presidential election set for next Tuesday, it would be easy to call this the week before the storm as far as mortgage rates are concerned.

But this was also the week of the storm — Sandy, of course —  and the uncertain future it stirred up combined with the uncertain outcome of the elections helped bring down interest rates.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to an average of 3.39 percent with 0.7 point from 3.41 percent a week ago, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago, the 30-year averaged 4.00 percent.

Bankrate’s national mortgage survey put the 30-year at 3.59 percent with 0.43 point, down from an average of 3.61 percent a week ago.

Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft also cited positive economic news and a near absence of inflation.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped in both surveys, to 2.70 percent with 0.70 point from 2.72 percent a week earlier, according to Freddie Mac, and to 2.89 percent with 0.30 point from 2.90 percent, according to Bankrate.

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