Mortgage rates rise
WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week as the home-buying season has gotten off to a slow start.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for the 30-year loan rose to 4.33 percent from 4.27 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage increased to 3.39 percent from 3.33 percent.
Mortgage rates have risen almost a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago. Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying. Rising prices and higher rates have been a problem for would-be buyers, while many homeowners are reluctant to list properties for sale.
Sales of new homes fell 14.5 percent in March to a rate of 384,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Existing home buys dropped, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. Mortgage applications last week lost 3.3 percent from last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.