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Bernanke took advantage of low mortgage rates to refinance

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke took advantage of historically low mortgage rates -- brought down by the central bank’s near-zero interest rates -- to refinance his Washington condominium last year, according to his annual government financial disclosures.

Bernanke and his wife, Anna, took out a new 30-year mortgage at 4.25% last year on the three-bedroom condominium in the nation’s capital that they have owned since 2004, according to the disclosure form he filed with the Office of Government Ethics, and property records.

They are among thousands of Americans who have refinanced as 30-year mortgage rates have been at or near historic lows.

The couple had been paying 5.375% on a 30-year mortgage they had taken out in 2009 on the condo, the disclosure said.

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The 2,108 square-foot condo is valued at $883,769, according to real estate site Zillow.

Bernanke reported assets of $1.07 million to $2.28 million for 2011. The disclosure form requires government officials to report their assets within a range of values.

Bernanke reported the same range of assets for 2010.

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