WASHINGTON • Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages held steady this week, hovering near two-year highs. But rates could change quickly next week when the Federal Reserve addresses its bond purchase program.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan was unchanged from last week at 4.57 percent, just below the two-year high of 4.58 percent reached Aug. 22.
The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage held at 3.59 percent. The two-year high of 3.60 percent was hit on Aug. 22.
Long-term mortgage rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May, when Chairman Ben Bernanke first signaled that the Fed could reduce its bond purchases this year. The purchases have been intended to keep long-term loan rates extremely low.