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US long-term mortgage rates inch up again (Feb. 20)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — US mortgage rates rose slightly this week but they remain far below year-ago levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan rose from 3.47 percent last week to 3.49 percent. That is down from 4.35 percent a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage also increased slightly, from 2.97 percent to 2.99 percent.

Fears about the economic impact of China’s viral outbreak have caused investors to snap up US Treasury securities, often seen as a haven in the event of an economic downturn. That has pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note sharply lower this year. Mortgage rates typically follow the yield on the 10-year note.

The rate for a 5-year adjustable mortgage was 3.25 percent versus 3.28 percent last week.