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Article updated: 7/25/2013 9:31 AM

U.S. average rate on 30-year loan falls to 4.31 pct.

By

Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages fell for the second straight week, a welcome sign for homebuyers hoping to lock in lower rates that had spiked earlier this month.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan fell to 4.31 percent. That's down from 4.37 percent last week but nearly a full percentage point higher than in early May. The rate reached a two-year high of 4.51 percent two weeks ago.

The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.39 percent, down from 3.41 percent last week

While rates remain low by historical standards, they have risen in recent weeks after the Federal Reserve indicated it might slow its bond purchases later this year. The bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates down.

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