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US long-term mortgage rates steady; 30-year loan at 3.68%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week amid mixed signs in the housing market. Rates remain at historically low levels as a lure to prospective homebuyers.

The mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said on Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from the previous week at 3.68%. The benchmark rate stood at 4.75% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage ticked down to 3.14% this week from 3.15% last week.

A government report issued this week showed that spending on U.S. construction projects fell 0.8% in October, dragged down by declines in spending on apartment and multifamily homebuilding. But spending on single-family home construction increased 1.6%, helping offset some of the losses seen elsewhere in private construction.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week to compile its mortgage-rate figures. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average fee on 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The average fee for the 15-year mortgage fell to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages fell to 3.39% from 3.43%. The fee increased to 0.4 point from 0.3 point.

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