WASHINGTON – Mortgage rates rose marginally in the past week, continuing a trend of modest movement in recent weeks amid uncertainties over the impact of the delta coronavirus option on economic recovery.
Average rates on home loans remain historically low at less than 3 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average for 30-year mortgages rose to 2.87% from 2.86% last week. The base rate, which peaked this year at 3.18 percent in April, was 2.91 percent a year ago.
The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular mortgage refinancing option among homeowners, rose to 2.17 percent from 2.16 percent last week.
Fears are mounting that the currently prevailing delta scenario is starting to cause a slowdown in economic growth, an uncertainty that keeps mortgage rates in a narrow range. In recent weeks, many economists have downgraded their estimates for the growth of the US economy for this quarter and for 2021 as a whole, as this option has led to an increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID across the country.
A government report on Thursday showed that the US gross domestic product – total production of goods and services – grew at a steady 6.6 percent year on year in April-June, slightly faster than previously estimated.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits rose for the first time in five weeks, despite the economy and labor market recovering rapidly from the pandemic recession. The number of applications rose by 4,000 to 353,000 from a pandemic low of 349,000 a week earlier.