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Average Rate on 30-year Loan Rises to 3.40 Pct.

A "House For Sale" sign is visible in front of an existing home
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) – The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was little changed this week, staying slightly above its record low. Cheaper mortgages are helping drive a modest housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan rose to 3.40 percent from 3.39 percent last week. Five weeks ago, the rate touched 3.36 percent, the lowest level on records dating to 1971.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage slipped to 2.69 percent. That’s down from 2.70 percent last week and close to the record low of 2.66 percent reached three weeks ago.

The average rate on the 30-year loan has been below 4 percent all year. It has fallen further since the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds in September to encourage more borrowing and spending.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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