The average rate for a conforming 30-year mortgage ticked down from 4.34 to 4.27 percent over the past week to a six-week low, 31 basis points below the three-year high rate of 4.58 percent recorded this past August.

Having averaged 6.67 percent since 1990, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.41 percent at this time last year. The all-time low of 3.31 percent was recorded in November of 2012.

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index has been dropping since June of 2013, the very month in which the average rate for a fixed 30-year mortgage returned above 4 percent for the first time since 2011.

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