Average US 30-year mortgage rate dips to 4.2 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week for a third straight week. The low rates could give a boost to the spring home-buying season, which has gotten off to a slow start.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan eased to 4.20 percent from 4.21 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.29 percent from 3.32 percent.

Mortgage rates have risen nearly a full percentage point since hitting record lows about a year ago.

Warmer weather has yet to boost home-buying as it normally does. Rising prices and higher rates have made affordability a problem for would-be buyers. And many homeowners are reluctant to list their properties for sale.

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