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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.

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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