WASHINGTON (AP) - Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were slightly lower to unchanged this week amid expectations that the Federal Reserve isn't ready yet to raise its key short-term interest rate.

WASHINGTON (AP) Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates were slightly lower to unchanged this week amid expectations that the Federal Reserve isn't ready yet to raise its key short-term interest rate.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.76 percent from 3.79 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages stayed at 2.98 percent.

The rates are well below last year's levels. A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 3.98 percent, while the rate for 15-year loans was 3.13 percent.

The Fed announced Wednesday that it's keeping the key rate at a record low near zero in light of a weak global economy, slower U.S. hiring and subpar inflation. But it signaled the possibility of a rate hike in December.