Average mortgage rates climbed this week

Home Mortgage Associated Press

FILE - This Monday, July 10, 2017, file photo shows new housing construction, in North Andover, Mass. On Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates increased this week, although they're lower than a year ago.

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Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.99 percent, up from 3.94 percent last week. That average marks a five-month high, but it's still lower than the 4.32 percent a year ago. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to an average 3.44 percent from 3.38 percent in the prior week. The 15-year averaged 3.55 percent a year ago.

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The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts President Donald Trump signed into law last week led to an increase in the interest charged on a 10-year U.S. Treasury note. This pushed up average mortgage rates.

The average on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 3.47 percent from 3.39 percent last week.

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