US average mortgage rates steady; 30-year stays at 4.45 pct.

U.S. long-term mortgage rates held steady this week for the second straight week, sticking at their lowest levels in nine months after six weeks of decline.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from last week at 4.45 percent. Rates remain above last year’s levels, however. The key 30-year rate averaged 4.15 percent a year ago.

The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate loans held at 3.88 percent.

The decline in home borrowing rates in recent months has been a spur to prospective homebuyers.