US common mortgage charges rise barely; 30-year at 2.87%
WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates rose slightly last week and have continued a pattern of low movement over the past few weeks amid uncertainty about the impact of the delta coronavirus variant on the economic recovery.
Average home loan interest rates remain historically low at less than 3%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the 30-year mortgage rose from 2.86% last week to 2.87%. The key interest rate, which peaked this year at 3.18% in April, was 2.91% a year ago.
The interest rate on a 15 year loan, a popular option for homeowners to refinance their mortgages, rose from 2.16% last week to 2.17%.
Concern is growing that the now prevalent delta variant is causing an economic slowdown, an uncertainty that has kept mortgage rates in a tight band. In the past few weeks, many economists have lowered their growth projections for the U.S. economy for this quarter and for 2021 as a whole, as the variant of confirmed COVID cases increased across the country.
A government report on Thursday showed that U.S. gross domestic product – the total output of goods and services – grew at a robust annual rate of 6.6% for the April-June quarter, slightly faster than previously estimated.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has risen for the first time in five weeks, although the economy and labor market have recovered rapidly from the pandemic recession. Claims rose 4,000 to 353,000 from a pandemic low of 349,000 a week earlier.