published Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Business Briefs: Volkswagen to donate to National Mall

Volkswagen to donate to National Mall

Volkswagen said Thursday it will donate $10 million to help restore the National Mall in Washington D.C.

The VW gift to be given over the next five years is part of a $700 million planned restoration of the 1,000 acres of green spaces and parks in the nation's capital.

"There are few places that can educate and inspire people like the National Mall," said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America.

"But America's most visited national park is also a treasure that's in dire need of help if we want to preserve it for future generations."

The National Mall hosts about 25 million visitors a year.

Home rates fall to record low

The average U.S. rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell to a new record low last week, and the rate on the 30-year fixed loan declined.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.56 percent. That's the lowest on records dating to 1991. It fell from 2.61 percent last week, the previous record.

The rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.35 percent from 3.40 percent last week. That's near the average rate of 3.31 percent reached in November, the lowest on records dating back to 1971.

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