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 said Thursday that 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. They have also led more people to refinance, which typically lowers monthly mortgage payments and boosts consumer spending.