RATES UP BUT STILL LOW: Average U. S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained close to record lows. Cheap mortgages have made home buying more affordable and have helped drive a housing recovery.

THE NUMBERS: Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 3.40 percent, up from 3.34 percent last week and just above the record low of 3.31 percent. The average for the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 2.66 percent from 2.64 percent last week. The record low is 2.63 percent.

RISING TREASURY YIELDS: Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which has risen this year from 1.70 percent to 1.89 percent.

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