WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. average rates on long-term mortgages rose this week but remained at historically low levels. The key 30-year loan stayed below 3%.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year home loan increased to 2.96% from 2.88% last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.60% a year ago.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 2.46% from 2.44% from last week.
Homebuying demand continues as one of few bright spots in the pandemic-struck economy, especially for prospective buyers considering a first-time purchase, Freddie Mac noted. Still the lack of available homes remains an obstacle.
The government's latest weekly report on unemployment claims showed Thursday that the number of laid-off workers applying for aid fell below 1 million last week for the first time since the viral pandemic intensified five months ago — yet it still remains at a high level. The pandemic continues to force layoffs just as the expiration of a $600-a-week federal jobless benefit has deepened hardships for many.