Mortgage Rates Tick Back Up

WASHINGTON — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose slightly this week but remained near their lows for the year. Mortgage company Freddie Mac says the nationwide average for a 30-year loan increased to 4.14 percent from 4.12 percent last week.

HUD Nominee Julian Castro Clears a Major Hurdle

A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday approved San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, clearing the way for a final vote in the full Senate. If confirmed in the post, as expected, Castro would be in position to push the Obama administration’s plan to wind down mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, an effort that has stalled in Congress.