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Average US 30-year mortgage rises to 3.52 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for a second straight week, reaching their highest levels since June.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Oct. 20 the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.52 percent from 3.47 percent last week.

Rates still remain near historic lows. The benchmark 30-year rate is down from 3.79 percent a year ago and close to its all-time low of 3.31 percent in November 2012.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, rose to 2.79 percent from 2.76 percent.

The low rates have been luring buyers into the market. Data issued Thursday by the National Association of Realtors showed that more Americans bought homes in September, many for the first time, despite a persistent shortage of properties for sale. Sales of existing homes rose 3.2 percent from August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, the strongest pace since June.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country at the beginning of 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 fell to 0.5 point from 0.6 point last week. The fee for a 15-year loan also declined to 0.5 point from 0.6 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year mortgages averaged 2.85 percent, up from 2.82 percent last week. The fee held steady at 0.4 point.

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