Washington — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week in the days before the Federal Reserve announced a historic increase in its key short-term interest rate.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 3.97 percent from 3.95 percent a week earlier. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.22 percent from 3.19 percent.

The key 30-year rate is well above its level of a year ago, 3.80 percent. The rate has increased significantly overall since the end of October, when it stood at 3.76 percent. But it remains historically low at below 4 percent.

The Fed announced Wednesday a quarter-point increase in its benchmark funds rate, the first in nine years. That rate has limited influence on home borrowing rates.

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