WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year.
Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year loan inched up to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, rose to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent last week.
Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.
The Fed issued a statement last week suggesting that it wants to see further improvement in the economy before it starts raising its key short-term interest rate. The central bank offered no clearer hint of when it will raise that rate, which is at a record low near zero.
At 4.14 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Fed has been trimming its monthly bond purchases. The purchases are set to end in October.
Home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, data released Tuesday showed, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.