David Gotterup

West Hempstead

The average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan moved ever closer to the 4 percent mark, posting the sixth consecutive weekly increase in that popular mortgage product.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday the average rate was 3.98 percent this week. That compares with 3.91 percent last week and 3.71 percent a year ago.

On a 15-year mortgage, this week's average rate rose to 3.1 percent. That was up from 3.03 percent last week and 2.98 percent in the same week in 2012.

Since the beginning of its climb, which began in early May and is tied to improving economic reports and speculation that the Federal Reserve will end its efforts to keep rates low, the average rate on a 30-year loan has increased more than half a percentage point.

The uptick may cause more consumers to consider adjustable-rate mortgages for home purchases and refinancings of existing loans, Freddie Mac said.

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