WASHINGTON — The average U.S. rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage rose above 3 percent this week for the first time in a year, while the rate on the 30-year fixed loan approached 4 percent.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan jumped to 3.91 percent from 3.81 percent last week. That’s the highest since March 2012.
The rate on the 15-year loan rose to 3.03 percent from 2.98 percent. That’s the highest since last May.
Concerns that the Federal Reserve may scale back its bond purchases have pushed rates higher over the last month. Still, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. The 30-year loan hit a record 3.31 percent rate in November. The 15-year loan fell to its low of 2.56 percent a month ago.
Mortgage rates are rising because they tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The yield on the 10-year note climbed as high as 2.2 percent last week, its highest level in more than two years. It has since slipped to 2.1 percent in early trading Thursday. That compares with 1.63 percent at the beginning of May.