Mortgage Rates Drop, Housing Market Still Weak

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Record low mortgage rates haven't helped the weak housing market.

The low rates come as investors concerned about the European debt crisis and the stock market shifted their money into the safety of Treasury bonds, driving down yields. Mortgage rates usually track the yields on long-term treasury notes.

Freddie Mac said that the average rate for 30-year fixed loans fell to 4.58 percent.

The tax credit for home buyers helped many people to buy a house earlier than they had planned. That led to a boom for the housing market, but it didn't last.

Now uncertainty about the economy has led mortgage lenders to tighten their standards. They're looking for customers with stronger credit scores who they can require to pay higher down payments.

Even with historically low interest rates, people interested in buying a home are still being turned away from many lenders because they don't qualify.

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