Mortgage rates edge up
WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage edged up this week to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent but remains near historically low levels after declining during the five previous weeks.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the 15-year loan was unchanged at 3.33 percent.
Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion monthly bond purchases. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed proceeded last month with planned reductions of its bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low.
Real estate data provider CoreLogic reported last week U.S. home prices slipped from November to December. And the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales.