US mortgage rates up for 8th week; 30-year at 4.43 percent

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US mortgage rates up for 8th week; 30-year at 4.43 percent
In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo a for sale sign stands in front of a house, in Walpole, Mass. Freddie Mac reports on the week's average U.S. mortgage rates on Thursday, March 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates crept higher this week, marking the eighth straight week that it cost more to borrow to buy a home.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 4.43 percent this week from 4.40 percent last week. The new average for the benchmark rate is the highest since January 2014. The 30-year rate stood at 4.10 percent a year ago.

The rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans advanced to 3.90 percent from 3.85 percent last week.

Mortgage rates have risen steadily in January and February, as interest rates generally have increased in response to higher levels of government debt and expectations of rising inflation.