Associated Press: The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortage has fallen to its lowest level on records dating to 1971.

The rate on the most popular mortgage dipped to 4.15 percent from 4.32 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday. Its previous low of 4.17 percent was reached in November.

The last time long term rates were lower was in the 1950's, when 30 year loans were not widely available. Most long term home loans lasted 20 or 25 years. The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage, which is popular for refinancing, fell to 3.36 percent, also a record low. It's the third straight week or record lows of  the popular refinancing option. Freddie Mac's records date to 1991, but analysts believe the new low on the 15-year mortgage is the lowest ever.

Full article: Washington Post 8/19/11