Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Mortgage rates unchanged from last week, remain under 3%

by BIZ Magazine

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — The average long-term mortgage rate was unchanged from last week as the economy continues to show encouraging signs even as hospitalizations from the delta variant of the coronavirus remain elevated.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage held at 2.87% as demand for homes remained stable. The benchmark rate, which peaked this year at 3.18% in April, stood at 2.93% this time last year.

The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option for homeowners refinancing their mortgages, ticked up to 2.18% from 2.17% last week.

There is growing concern that the highly contagious delta variant could cause the current prolific economic resurgence to sputter.

Last week the government reported that U.S. gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services — grew at a booming 6.6% annual rate in the April-June quarter, but many economists have been downgrading their estimates of growth in the U.S. economy for the current quarter and full year.

In another good sign that the economy is so far outrunning the delta variant, the government reported Thursday that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 340,000, a pandemic low.

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