Mortgage rates hover near record lows

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced another round of stimulus designed to keep mortgage rates low with the aim of boosting the housing market's gradual recovery. 

There were a couple of bits of positive housing news on Wednesday — home construction increased in August to its fastest pace since April 2010 and existing home sales were up 7.8 percent in August, the best showing since May 2010.