U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.52%

by Marcy Gordon, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – March 8, 2013 – Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages were little changed this week, hovering near historic lows. Cheap mortgages have helped spur a recovery in the housing market.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage edged up to 3.52 percent from 3.51 percent last week. That’s near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage held at 2.76 percent. The record low is 2.63 percent.

The lowest mortgage rates in decades have boosted home sales and helped the market rebound. More people are buying homes, which has helped pushed up prices. Home prices jumped 9.7 percent in January from a year earlier, according to data released by CoreLogic. That’s the biggest annual gain since April 2006, just before the housing bubble burst.

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