- Associated Press - Thursday, December 6, 2012

WASHINGTON — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up this week just slightly above record lows, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive to consumers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 3.34 percent, above last week’s rate of 3.32 percent. Two weeks ago, the rate dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 2.67 percent from 2.64 percent last week. The rate declined to 2.63 percent two weeks ago, also a record low.

Mortgage rates have been near record lows all year, helping fuel a modest housing recovery. They have fallen further since the Federal Reserve started buying mortgage bonds in September to encourage more borrowing and spending.

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