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Average US 30-year mortgage rate down to 4.34 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season begins.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.34 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.38 percent from 3.47 percent.

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

Going into the spring buying season, the housing market faces a dilemma: Too few people are selling homes. Yet too few buyers can afford the homes that are for sale.

A double-digit jump in the average price of a home sold last year hasn't managed to coax more homeowners to sell.

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