Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve announced that it would be buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month for the foreseeable future.  The goal is increase economic growth by infusing of cash into the economy and driving down mortgage rates.  As a result the, mortgage rates fell to record low levels once again.
 
In fact, mortgage finance backer Freddie Mac's weekly survey of mortgage rates showed the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.49% from 3.55% the previous week. The fixed-rate 15-year mortgage reached a new record low of 2.77%, down from 2.85% a week earlier.  
 
Those taking out new home loans, either to purchase or refinance, will be among the first to benefit from the new low interest rates.  Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a provider of mortgage information and analysis, said he would expect rates will likely go about 0.2 percentage point lower in the coming weeks as the market reacts to the Fed's mortgage bond purchases.
"I don't think you've seen the full effect of the Fed's influence in the market yet," he said. "I think we'll have to see a slowdown in mortgage applications, working through some of the volume in the pipeline."   
 
According to CNNMoney, the low rates can help the economy even beyond the effect it has on the housing market, by putting more money in the pockets of homeowners who refinance.  For instance, someone who bought a house a year ago by borrowing $200,000 at the 4.09% 30-year rate a year ago can still reduce their payments by more than $1,000 a year by refinancing at the current rates.  Savings are larger if they borrowed more money or paid higher rates.