WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages eased slightly this week, remaining near historic lows.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year loan declined to 4.17 percent from 4.20 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage dipped to 3.30 percent from 3.31 percent.
Rising prices and higher interest rates beginning in mid-2013 have made homes less affordable for would-be buyers. At the same time, a limited supply of homes is available to buy.
Reflecting the struggle for many Americans to afford new houses, data issued Tuesday by the Commerce Department showed that the pace of U.S. home construction slipped in May. Builders started work at a seasonally-adjusted yearly rate on 1.01 million homes, down 6.5 percent from 1.07 million in April.