Mortgage rates tick up; still near record lows

Calculating the cost of a home iStockphoto

WASHINGTON Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, a trend that is leading more Americans to buy homes or refinance their loans.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year loan increased to 3.37 percent from 3.32 percent last week. That's just above the 3.31 percent rate of a month ago, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage dipped to 2.65 percent from 2.66 percent last week. The record low is 2.63 percent.

Low rates have spurred home sales and helped spark a modest housing recovery. Sales of previously occupied homes jumped to a three-year high last month.

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