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US rate on 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.57 pct.

Washington (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages edged up this week but remained near historic lows. Low rates have helped drive the housing market’s steady recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate for the 30-year fixed loan rose to 3.57 percent from 3.54 percent last week. That’s near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage increased last week to 2.76 percent from 2.72 percent last week. The record low of 2.63 percent also was reached in November.

The lowest mortgage rates in decades are spurring more home purchases and refinancing. That’s helped the broader economy. Increased sales also are pushing home prices higher.

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