Average US mortgage rates steady; 30-year at 3.93 percent

Markets Associated Press

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were little changed this week after declining for two straight weeks.

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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages inched up to 3.93 percent from 3.92 percent last week. While historically low, that's still above last year's average of 3.65 percent. The benchmark rate stood at 3.43 percent a year ago.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, slipped to 3.18 percent from 3.20 percent last week.

Mortgage rates haven't risen substantially despite the Federal Reserve having increased its key interest rate four times in the past 18 months. The Fed said last week that it's keeping the rate unchanged at a time when inflation remains undesirably low despite the job market continuing to strengthen.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday 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 was 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. The fee on 15-year loans also held steady at 0.5 point.

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Rates on adjustable five-year loans declined to 3.15 percent from 3.18 percent last week. The fee remained at 0.5 point.