WASHINGTON -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan increased to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, rose to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent last week.
Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.
The Fed issued a statement last week suggesting that it wants to see further improvement in the economy before it starts raising its key short-term interest rate.