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Average Rate On 30-Year Mortgages Falls Below 4 Percent For First Time

Mortgage rates are in uncharted territory.

"The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever," The Associated Press reports. "Freddie Mac says the average rate ... dropped from 4.01 percent last week, the previous low."

And, "the average rate on a 15-year fixed loan dipped to 3.26 percent, also a record."

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered institution that purchases mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities for investment and issues guaranteed mortgage-related securities, posts its weekly reports on mortgage rates here. The averages are based on surveys of 25 major lenders around the nation.

While falling rates are good news for some would-be homebuyers and some homeowners who want to refinance their loans, The Wall Street Journal's Developments blog asks an important question:

Will many people care?

Developments writes that:

"Reflecting both tight credit standards and anemic demand, applications for mortgages actually fell last week, according to a separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association on Wednesday. The MBA said overall mortgage application volume was down by a seasonally adjusted 4.3% from the prior week.

"Many borrowers can't refinance today because they don't have enough equity or they can't qualify under lending standards that are far tougher than when they initially obtained their mortgages."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
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The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.

NPR

After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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