US average mortgage rates mostly lower; 30-year at 2.93%


WASHINGTON — Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week as the economy continued to show signs of recovery from the pandemic recession and recent bursts of inflation were deemed temporary by federal policymakers.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the key 30-year home loan fell to 2.93% from 2.96% last week. By contrast, the rate stood at 3.13% a year ago.

The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option among homeowners refinancing their mortgages, edged up to 2.24% from 2.23% last week.

The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it may act sooner than previously planned to start dialing back the low-interest rate policies that have helped spark a swift rebound from the recession but also have coincided with rising inflation. Fed Chairman Jay Powell said the inflation spikes of the past two months will likely prove temporary.

In the latest economic news, the government reported Thursday that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time since April, to 412,000.

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