Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

WASHINGTON (February 7, 2013)--The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was unchanged this week and still near historic lows, while the average rate on the 15-year loan fell, Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Low mortgage rates could help strengthen the housing recovery.

Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan stayed at 3.53 percent, still near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest in records dating to 1971.

The rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 2.77 percent from 2.81 percent last week.

The record low is 2.63 percent.

Cheap mortgages are encouraging more people to buy homes and refinance, both trends that could help boost the economy this year.

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