WASHINGTON (AP) -- The average U.S. 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 says the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.53 percent. That's 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. It 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. That lowered demand for Treasurys, considered safe investments.
Even with the increases, mortgage rates remained near historic lows.
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