Mortgage rates fall to new record low (AP)

Christmas decorations are displayed at a department store in Chicago, Illinois on December 18, 2008. As the US economy continues to shed jobs at an alarming rate and more people lose their homes to foreclosure amid a housing crisis, a job and a place to live are getting harder and harder to find.(AFP/Nicholas Kamm)AP – Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to a record low for the second straight week, causing refinancing applications to surge to the highest level in more than five years, a month after the Federal Reserve pledged to channel billions to prop up the sinking U.S. housing market.

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