Average US rate on 30-year mortgage eases to 4 percent; 15-year rate at 3.23 percent

Home Mortgage Associated Press

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates eased this week after hitting their highest levels this year in the previous week.

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Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4 percent this week from 4.04 percent a week earlier.

The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages slipped to 3.23 percent from 3.25 percent.

Mortgage rates have been surging in recent weeks amid signs of improvement in the economy. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve took note of the economic strength and appeared ready to raise interest rates this year for the first time in nearly a decade, in the belief that the economy no longer needs the stimulus of near-zero rates.