Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year loan inched up to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, rose to 3.27 percent from 3.23 percent last week.
Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago. They have fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term borrowing rates low.
The Fed issued a statement last week suggesting that it wants to see further improvement in the economy before it starts raising its key short-term interest rate. The central bank offered no clearer hint of when it will raise that rate, which is at a record low near zero.
At 4.14 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Fed has been trimming its monthly bond purchases. The purchases are set to end in October.
Home prices rose in June by the smallest year-over-year amount in 20 months, data released Tuesday showed, slowed by modest sales and more properties coming on the market.
Data provider CoreLogic said prices rose 7.5 percent in June compared with 12 months earlier. That's a solid gain but less than the 8.3 percent year-over-year increase in May and a recent year-to-year peak of 11.9 percent in February.
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. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was 0.7 point, up from 0.6 point last week. The fee for a 15-year mortgage declined to 0.6 point from 0.7 point last week.
The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.98 percent from 3.01 percent. The fee remained at 0.5 point.
For a one-year ARM, the average rate declined to 2.35 percent from 2.38 point. The fee rose to 0.5 point from 0.4 point.