RATES FALL: U. S. mortgage rates fell for the first time in seven weeks. Rates are expected to surge next week, as markets respond to Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the Fed could reduce bond purchases.
THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year mortgage declined to 3.93 percent from 3.98 percent last week. The rate on the 15-year loan eased to 3.04 percent from 3.10 percent.
CONCERN OVER FED: Concern that the Fed will wind down its bond purchases has pushed mortgage rates higher in recent weeks. They are still low by historical standards.