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The Boston Globe

Business

Average US rate on 30-year home loan at 4.23%

WASHINGTON — Average fixed-mortgage rates fell this week as the latest data continued to indicate a pause in the housing market’s recovery.

Freddie Mac said the average for the 30-year loan fell to 4.23 percent, from 4.32 percent last week. For the 15-year loan, it declined to 3.33 percent, from 3.40 percent.

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Mortgage rates have risen about a full percentage point since hitting record lows roughly a year ago.

Data released Tuesday by CoreLogic show that home prices slipped from November to December, and the year-over-year increase slowed, probably a result of weaker sales at the end of last year.

The December decline was the third straight month-to-month drop. Home prices had risen for eight straight months through September.

For all of 2013, prices rose a healthy 11 percent.

Most economists expect home sales and prices to keep rising this year, but at a slower pace. They forecast both will rise 5 percent, down from double-digit gains in 2013.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average does not include extra fees, known as points, that most borrowers pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged at 0.7 point. The fee for a 15-year loan rose to 0.7 point from 0.6 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable mortgage slipped to 3.08 percent from 3.12 percent. The fee held at 0.5 point.

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