US long-term mortgage rates flat this week; 30-year at 2.81%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates were little changed this week after marking a new all-time low last week.

Home loan rates have declined through the year amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark loan edged up 2.81% from 2.80% last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.78% a year ago.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 2.32% from 2.33%.

The low borrowing rates have bolstered demand from prospective homebuyers.

In the latest indicator of the economy’s health, the government reported Thursday that it grew at a record 33% annual rate in the July-September quarter — but it has yet to fully rebound from its plunge in the first half of the year.

Another government report showed that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 751,000, the lowest since March, but still historically high and an indication that the viral pandemic is forcing many employers to cut jobs.

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