Family dining chains getting wake-up call

Denny's employee Monica Chavez prepares a takeout breakfast last month in Coral Gables, Fla. The casual dining chain has begun offering a new takeout program in a bid to entice consumers to get breakfast on the run from Denny's rather than from a fast-foo

WASHINGTON — Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest level on record for the sixth time in seven weeks, offering the most attractive opportunity in decades for those who qualify to refinance or purchase a home.

Government-controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for 30-year fixed loans this week was 4.49 percent, down from 4.54 percent last week. That’s the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.95 percent, down from 4 percent last week and the lowest on record.

Rates have fallen since spring as investors seek the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds. That has lowered the yield Treasurys. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.