WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates rose marginally in the past week, continuing a modest move in recent weeks amid uncertainty 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 from 2.86% last week to 2.87%. 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.
There are growing fears that the now dominant Delta option 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% year-on-year in April-June, slightly faster than previously estimated.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose for the first time in five weeks. Claims rose by 4,000 to 353,000.