Rate on 30-Year Mortgage Drops to Record Low

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Housing sales have been picking up, and the lowest mortgage rates in decades are a key reason why.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage stands at 3.51 percent. That's close to the record of 3.31 percent set last November.

"It's the rising prices that is the game changer," Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass., told Bloomberg News.

"Housing is going to be the key driver that will get economy on a higher growth path," he said.

The ultra-low rates have also encouraged many people to refinance. That often leads to lower monthly payments and more spending money.

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