Mortgage rates decreased by 8 basis points this week, remaining near record lows, while a strong purchase market should continue into the fall, according to Freddie Mac.

"This year has been anything but normal and as the uncertainty lingers, mortgage rates remain near record lows," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release. "These rates continue to incentivize potential buyers and the home buying season, which shifted from spring to summer, will likely continue into the fall."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.91% for the week ending Aug. 27 down from last week when it averaged 2.99%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.58%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.46%, down from last week when it averaged 2.54%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.06%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.91% with an average 0.2 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.31%.

"Mortgage rates fell sharply in recent days to end the week down, driven by a delay in the FHFA's new 0.5-percentage-point fee on some refinances. The FHFA announced its 'adverse market refinance fee,' which applies to all mortgage refinances serviced by government entities, will be delayed to Dec. 1, rather than Sept. 1. After the surprise announcement of the policy a couple of weeks ago, lenders scrambled to increase fees on all mortgages — not just refinances — to account for the losses they were due to incur on loans in which rates were already locked in," Matthew Speakman, an economist for Zillow, said in a commentary released Wednesday night for its rate tracker.

"The decision to delay the policy's rollout appears to have had the opposite effect, as rates immediately fell sharply on Wednesday following the news. Looking ahead, the path for mortgage rates in the near term is difficult to predict, as economic data continue to paint a conflicting picture on the state of the economic recovery."

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