AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week after last week's surge. The declines could prompt homebuyers to act quickly before rates rise further.
Freddie Mac said Wednesday that the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.29 percent. That's down from 4.46 percent last week, the highest in two years and a full point more than a month ago.
The average on the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.39 percent, down from 3.50 percent last week -- the highest since August 2011.
Mortgage rates jumped last week after the Federal Reserve signaled it could slow its monthly bond purchases later this year if the economy keeps improving. The bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates down, making mortgages and other consumer loans cheaper. A pullback by the Fed would likely send rates higher.
Despite the gains, mortgages are still low by historical standards. Low mortgage rates have helped fuel a housing recovery that has kept the economy growing modesty.
In May, completed sales of previously occupied homes surpassed the 5 million mark for the first time in 3
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