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U.S. mortgage rates reversed course this week, after a downward trend, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 4.41 percent for the week ending March 7, up from 4.35 percent the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 4.46 percent.

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Low mortgage rates help propel U.S. home sales and the refinance market.

“While mortgage rates very modestly rose to 4.41 percent this week, they remain below year-ago levels for the fourth week in a row,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In late 2018, mortgage rates rose over a full percentage point from the prior year, which was one of the main reasons that weakness in home sales continued into early 2019. However, the impact of recent lower rates and a strong labor market has led to a rise in purchase mortgage demand as we start the spring homebuying season.”

 

Favorable rates also have been helping Dayton-area home sales.

Local home sales began 2019 on a strong note with a 5 percent uptick in January transactions, according to Dayton Realtors.

The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31 percent in November 2012.

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