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Thursday, 20 March 2014 10:38

Average US 30-year mortgage rate down to 4.32 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) - Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined last week, edging closer to historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.32 percent from 4.37 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38 percent. Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago. The increase was driven by speculation that the Federal Reserve would reduce its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases, which have helped keep long-term interest rates low. Deeming the economy to be gaining strength, the Fed announced in December and January - and again on Wednesday - that it was reducing its monthly bond purchases.