WASHINGTON – Mortgage rates were flat to higher this week. The benchmark 30-year home loan remained below the 3% mark amid ongoing positive signs of economic recovery from the pandemic recession.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the 30-year rate rose from 2.95% last week to 2.99%. At this point last year, the average long-term rate was 3.18%.
The interest rate on a 15-year loan popular with refinancing seekers remained unchanged from the previous week at 2.27%.
In the latest business news, the government reported that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 385,000 for the fifth straight week last week, a new pandemic low and additional evidence that as the economy continues to reopen, the job market is healthy regained.
With mortgage rates historically low, the U.S. housing market is so overheated that demand has exceeded supply that prices keep hitting record highs – and about half of all homes are now sold above their list price.