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WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged higher this week, though rates remain at historically low levels.
Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.45 percent from 3.43 percent last week. The average rate is down sharply from 3.94 percent a year ago, and remains close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.
The 15-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 2.76 percent from 2.74 percent last week.
Record-low interest rates this year have helped spur home purchases and boost the housing market.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage remained at 0.5 point this week. The fee for a 15-year loan also was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point.
Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.74 percent, up from 2.73 percent last week. The fee held at 0.5 point.
This story has been corrected to remove an incorrect reference to the fourth straight week of increases in long-term rates.
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