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US mortgage rates edge up slightly, 30-year at 3.68%

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2019, file photo a sign stands outside a home for sale in southeast Denver. On Wednesday, Nov. 27, Freddie Mac reports on this weeks average U.S. mortgage rates. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. mortgage rates crept slightly higher this week but remain at low levels that could encourage more home-buying.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage ticked up to 3.68% from 3.66% the previous week. The average 15-year mortgage was unchanged at 3.15%.

Borrowing costs have fallen sharply in the past year, helping lift home sales and construction. The 30-year rate was 4.8% at the same time last year, while the 15-year rate was 4.25%. Sales of existing homes increased 4.6% in October compared with a year ago, while new home sales have soared by more than 30%.

Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week to compile its mortgage rate figures.