US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.53 pct.

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Associated Press

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 31 at 9:02 AM

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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