WASHINGTON (AP) — The costs of borrowing to buy a home increased slightly this week, but U.S. mortgage rates are still near relative lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.94 percent from 3.88 percent last week. At this time last year, the benchmark rate was 3.47 percent. The historic average was roughly 6 percent.

Long-term home loan rates tend to track the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes. The interest charged on 10-year Treasury notes has risen since early September.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, popular with homeowners who are refinancing, rose to 3.25 percent from 3.19 percent last week. A year ago, the 15-year rate was 2.78 percent.

The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes was flat in September, reflecting an ongoing nationwide shortage of homes being listed for sale.

The National Association of Realtors says its pending home sales index was 106 in September, the same as August's revised number. It's the index's lowest point since a 104.7 reading in January of 2015 and 3.5 percent lower than a year ago. It has fallen on an annual basis five of the past six months.

Pending sales contracts are a barometer of future purchases. Sales are typically completed a month or two after a contract is signed.

Homebuyers are caught in a period of rising home values, a limited selection of properties on the market and a shortage of savings.

Sign Up for the Our Newsletter

Enter your email to receive the latest news and information directly to your inbox!
  • Name*

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

See Also: