Average US rate on 30-year loan at 4.23 pct.

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 6, 2014 at 9:36 am •  Published: February 6, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages fell this week as the latest data continued to indicate a pause in the housing market's recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan declined to 4.23 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan dipped to 3.33 percent from 3.40 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 a month in bond purchases. Saying the economy was gaining strength, the Fed pushed ahead last week with a plan to reduce the bond purchases, which have kept long-term interest rates low.

Data released Tuesday by real estate specialist CoreLogic showed that U.S. home prices slipped from November to December, and the year-over-year increase slowed, likely a result of weaker sales at the end of last year.

The December decline was the third straight month-to-month drop. Home prices had risen for eight straight months through September. For all of 2013, prices rose a healthy 11 percent.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that U.S. construction spending rose modestly in December, slowing from healthy gains a month earlier.

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