Major U.S. banks offer fixed home loans below 5%

01/8/2009 | Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase is offering 30-year mortgages at interest rates as low as 4.75% through its Web site, Wells Fargo is advertising 4.875% and Bank of America is offering 5%. The reduced interest rates came as the Federal Reserve started buying $500 billion worth of mortgage securities to aid the housing market. Analysts say the lower rates may prompt homeowners to refinance, but may not necessarily spur home buying. "I don't know if there is a magic number now that everyone is freaking out about the economy," said Paul Miller, a mortgage-industry analyst with Friedman Billings Ramsey. "The home buyer is scared out of the market."

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