US rate on 30-year mortgages rises to 3.59 percent

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Associated Press

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 9 at 10:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose for the second straight week, staying slightly above historic lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.59 percent, up from 3.55 percent last week. Two weeks ago, the rate fell to 3.49 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, rose to 2.84 percent. That's up from 2.83 percent last week and a record low of 2.80 percent the previous week.

Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest housing recovery this year. Home sales are higher than last year, although they are still below healthy levels. Home prices are rising in many markets.

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