Mortgage rates at an all time low

The Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts may be having an impact on mortgage rates. Those rates are at record lows.

The average 30-year loan rate now stands at to 3.40%.{} A 15-year rate fell to 2.73%.

The Fed is spending $40 billion a month to buy mortgage-backed securities, to lower mortgage rates and help the housing recovery.Despite the record-low mortgage rates, the number of Americans signing contracts to buy previously-occupied houses fell last month from a two-year high in July. Still, the index compiled by the National Association of Realtors is more than 10 percent higher than it was a year ago.