By Ruth Mantell
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — With market concerns about European debt and weak U.S. employment, mortgage rates hit record lows in the week ending Sept. 8, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.12% — the lowest since Freddie Mac’s data collection started in 1971 — from 4.22% in the prior week, according to the buyer of residential mortgages. A year ago, the rate was at 4.35%. “Market concerns over euro-zone sovereign debt default and a weak U.S. employment report for August placed downward pressure on Treasury bond yields and allowed fixed mortgage rates to hit new lows this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a statement. Meanwhile, the average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to a record low of 3.33% in the latest week, down from 3.39% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate matched a record low set in the prior week of 2.96%. These data go back to 2005. And the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM fell to a record low of 2.84% from 2.89%. These data go back to 1984.