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updated: 1/10/2013 9:26 AM

U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.40 pct.

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained close to record lows. Cheap mortgages have made home buying more affordable and have helped drive a housing recovery.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.40 percent from 3.34 percent last week. That's still near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

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The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 2.66 percent from 2.64 percent last week. The record low is 2.63 percent.

Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The yield on the note has risen this year from 1.70 percent to 1.89 percent Thursday.

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