Average US mortgage rates continue to decline; 30 years old at 2.77%

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates were unchanged last week, with the average for a key 30-year home loan below 3% for the sixth straight week.

Uncertainty over the growing variant of the delta coronavirus and its potential impact on the U.S. economic recovery has remained a backdrop holding back mortgage rates.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average for a 30-year mortgage fell to 2.77% from 2.80% last week. The base rate, which peaked this year at 3.18% in April, was 2.88% a year ago.

The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular mortgage refinancing option among homeowners, remained at a historically low 2.10%.

Fears are mounting in global financial markets about the spread of the delta variant in the United States, Europe and Asia, and especially in China, which is on high alert as it faces hundreds of new cases.

China has blocked residential areas, suspended flights and trains, and ordered mass testing for coronavirus in Wuhan, the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019. While China’s numbers are small compared to outbreaks elsewhere, its containment strategies and the subsequent impact on its large economy are under close scrutiny.

In the latest evidence of a rapid recovery in the US economy and the labor market, the government said Thursday that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits fell 14,000 last week to 385,000. Benefit applications have largely declined steadily since surpassing 900,000 in early January. However, they remain high in historical terms.

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