Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage rises to 4.81 pct.

NEW YORK (AP) — Fixed mortgage rates edged up this week, but even 30-year rates below 5 percent have done little to boost home sales.

Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 4.81 percent from 4.76 percent the previous week. It hit a 40-year low of 4.17 percent in November.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 4.04 percent from 3.97 percent. It reached 3.57 percent in November, the lowest level on records dating back to 1991.

Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which rose this week.

Still, low rates haven’t helped the weak housing market. In February, sales of previously occupied homes fell 9.6 percent and new-home sales tumbled to the slowest pace in nearly a half-century.

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