US long-term mortgage rates flat to higher; 30-year 4.42 pct

WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were flat to slightly higher this week with the spring home buying season well underway.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 4.42 percent from 4.40 percent last week. The benchmark stood at an average 4.08 percent a year ago.

Long-term rates fell last week, following a stretch of increases in January, February and early March as interest rates generally rose.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans held steady this week at 3.87 percent.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. The fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent last week. The fee on 15-year fixed-rate loans was unchanged from last week at 0.4 percent.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages slipped to 3.61 percent from 3.62 percent last week. The fee declined to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent.

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