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Long-term US mortgages rise to highest level since mid-May

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week to their highest level since mid-May.

The Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to an average 3.96 percent from 3.88 percent last week. It had stood at 3.41 percent a year ago. The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate home loans, popular with homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, rose to 3.22 percent from 3.17 percent. A year ago, it was 2.74 percent.

Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist, said the higher mortgage rates reflect higher global interest rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which influences mortgage rates, has risen to 2.37 percent, up from 2.27 percent a week ago.

Still, mortgage rates remain historically low, even though the Federal Reserve has begun to ratchet up short-term interest rates.

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