Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's vice president and chief economist, said this week's increase on fixed-rate home mortgages to 5.2% could suggest that the worst of the housing crisis had passed. "Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke, during his July 22 testimony to the Senate, noted that mortgage rates are lower than they were last fall, in part because of the Federal Reserve's actions, and housing affordability right now is the highest it's been in many years," he said.

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