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US long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 4.12 percent

Buying News Spring House Hunt
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. John Bazemore/Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — US long-term mortgage rates rose moderately this week, remaining at historically low levels that can attract potential purchasers in the spring home-buying season.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased from 4.08 percent last week to 4.12 percent. Two weeks ago, the benchmark loan rate marked its steepest weekly drop in a decade, from 4.28 percent. The average rate on the 30-year loan stood at 4.42 percent a year ago.

The average rate this week for 15-year fixed-rate home loans rose from 3.56 percent to 3.6 percent.

Lower mortgage rates, slowing home price increases, and a pickup in the number of available homes appear to be rejuvenating home sales after a slowdown last year.

Despite the increase in rates this week, ‘‘We expect mortgage rates to remain low … boosting home-buyer demand in the next few months,’’ Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week to compile its mortgage rate figures.

The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The average fee for the 15-year mortgage also was steady, at 0.4 point.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages jumped from 3.66 percent last week to 3.8 percent. The fee remained at 0.4 point.

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