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Mortgage rates fall again

A Freddie Mac sign stands outside the headquarters

A Freddie Mac sign stands outside the headquarters in McLean, Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner will present Congress with three options for reducing the government's role in the nation's housing finance system and shrinking the footprint of mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Credit: Bloomberg/Andrew Harrer

Mortgage rates fell yet again this week, marking new lows for the year, Freddie Mac reportedThursday. The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.49 percent and the 15-year averaged 3.68 percent -- but it’s just not helping the housing market. In fact, the same thing that’s pushing down those rates is one of the issues plaguing the real estate market: weak job growth.

In May, the national economy added 54,000 jobs -- the fewest jobs created in eight months – leading to an increase in the unemployment rate and continued weakness in the housing market. And locally, it’s a similar story, says Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association.

“There are a lot of factors at play here, but job generation does affect home sales. Long Island is no different from the nation, and we have seen weak job growth on Long Island as well,” says Kamer.

The weak jobs report is making people more inclined to rent than to buy because of concerns about the economic futures, she adds. 

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