News Summary: Rate on 30-year loan near record low

THE LOWDOWN: The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has fallen to near its record low set earlier this month.

HOW THEY RATE: The rate on the 30-year loan, the most popular mortgage, dipped to 3.37 percent from 3.39 percent last week. Two weeks ago, the rate reached 3.36 percent, its lowest level on records dating to 1971. The rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, often used for refinancing, set a record low of 2.66 percent, down from last week's 2.70 percent.

HELPING HOUSING: Cheaper mortgages are helping fuel a modest but steady housing recovery. The average rate on the 30-year loan has remained below 4 percent all year.