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U.S. mortgage rates fell sharply and for the second straight week as monetary policies meant to slow the economy take hold of the housing market.

The rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage hasn’t fallen this much since December 2008, a new report shows.

Though rates have been rising for most of this year, the recent dips provide a sliver of hope for buyers.

Purchasing a home is now about 5% more affordable than it was a week ago, says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist for the National Association of Realtors.