WASHINGTON - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near historically low levels.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the
average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.33 percent from 4.28 percent
last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage edged up to 3.35 percent from
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 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.
The housing market is expected to deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy.