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A house under construction in Livermore, Calif. , in August. New construction of single-family homes is stuck near levels hit during the early 1990s recession. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News The U. housing market dragged the economy into a deep recession nearly eight years agoS Could it now insulate the domestic expansion during a fragile period of global growth.

Interest rates on conventional mortgages for newly built homes fell again in August 2016 according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFHA), extending the decline to 7 consecutive months. The FHFA data show that the average contract rate on the loans fell from 3.64% to 3.60%, while initial fees and charges went from 1.11% to 1.09%. As a result, the average effective interest rate on loans used to purchase newly built homes, which amortizes initial fees over the estimated life of the loan, dropped to 3.68% from 3.74%.