By Les Christie@CNNMoneyOctober 3, 2013: 10:40 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Mortgages got more affordable again this week.
The average interest rate for the most popular kind of home loan, the 30-year fixed rate, fell to 4.22%, down from 4.32% a week earlier.
Rates, as measured by a weekly Freddie Mac survey, have dropped from 4.57% since the Federal Reserve unexpectedly announced three weeks ago that it would not alter its stimulus program of buying Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
Most industry experts had thought the Fed would start to taper off those purchases, which bring liquidity to the mortgage markets and help keep rates low.
"While this is great news for mortgage shoppers, what's not great is that it comes as the government has ground to a halt, making it hard for mortgage lenders to get verification of tax returns or even Social Security numbers," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, a mortgage information firm. "This is likely to slow the loan approval process."