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Washington – U.S. long-term mortgage rates ticked up slightly this week, yet they remain near historic lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan rose to 3.58% from 3.55% last week. Mortgage rates have fallen sharply as a slowing global economy and tensions from the trade war between the United States and China have caused the interest rates on government bonds to tumble, prompting the average rate for a 30-year home loan to decline from 4.52% a year ago.

Lower mortgage rates should help homebuyers, but low inventories and high prices that have consistently eclipsed wage growth have restrained sales growth.

The average mortgage rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans rose to 3.06%, up from 3.03% last week.

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