WASHINGTON - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up slightly this week, remaining near historically low levels.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the nationwide average rate for a 30-year loan rose to 4.15 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage increased to 3.24 percent from 3.22 percent.
Mortgage rates are slightly lower than they were at the same time last year, having fallen recently after climbing last summer. That's when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it has been using to keep long-term interest rates low.
Rates have fallen modestly this year as Fed officials have signaled strongly that while they are trimming the bond purchases, they are in no rush to start boosting a key short-term rate the Fed controls.