Mortgage Rates Rise

WASHINGTON (January 31, 2013)--The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to its highest level in four months but remains low by historical standards, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.

Freddie Mac said the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.53 percent, up from 3.42 percent last week and the first time the rate has exceeded 3.50 percent since September.

The average for the 15-year fixed mortgage advanced to 2.81 percent from 2.71 percent last week.

Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rose to 1.99 percent Thursday, up from 1.85 percent a week ago.

Strong fourth-quarter earnings and positive reports on housing have pushed stocks higher, which lowered demand for Treasurys, considered safe investments.

Even with the increases, mortgage rates remained near historic lows.

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