Average US 30-year mortgage rises to 4.48 pct.

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2013 at 9:50 am •  Published: December 26, 2013
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages crept higher this week but remained low by historical standards.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.48 percent from 4.47 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent.

Mortgage rates peaked at 4.6 percent in August on expectations that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month in bond purchases. Those purchases push mortgage and other long-term rates lower and encourage borrowing and spending. On Dec. 18, the Fed finally decided the economy was strong enough to allow it to reduce the monthly purchases by $10 billion.

Mortgage rates are sharply higher than they were a year ago when the 30-year fixed rate was 3.35 percent and the 15-year was 2.65 percent.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new-home sales dipped 2.1 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted 464,000. But stronger figures for the previous three months suggested that housing may be regaining strength after a summer lull.

The National Association of Realtors said last week that the number of people who bought existing homes in November fell for a third straight month. Higher rates and the lingering effects of the partial government shutdown in October may have deterred some sales.



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