US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.98 percent

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Fixed U.S. mortgage rates rose for the sixth straight week, putting the average rate on the 30-year loan just shy of 4 percent.
    
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.98 percent. That's up from 3.91 percent last week and the highest since April 2012. The average rate was last at 4 percent or higher in March 2012.
    
The rate on the 15-year loan advanced to 3.10 percent from 3.03 percent. That's also the highest since April 2012.
    
Concerns that the Federal Reserve will scale back its bond purchases have pushed rates higher. Still, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards.
    
Cheap mortgages have helped sustain a housing recovery that began last year, encouraging more Americans to buy homes or refinance existing loans.

With contributions by Ed Joyce

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