RATES RISE: The average U. S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to 4.51 percent, a two-year high. Rates have been rising on expectations that the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases this year.

THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan rose from 4.29 percent the previous week. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 3.53 percent from 3.39 percent last week. That's the highest since August 2011.

STILL HISTORICALLY LOW: Just two months ago, the average rate on the 30-year loan was 3.35 percent — barely above the record low of 3.31 percent.

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