US long-term mortgage rates flat; 30-year stays at 2.73%

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FILE – In this Oct. 22, 2019 file photo, a sign stands outside a home for sale in southeast Denver. U.S. long-term mortgage rates were flat this week, staying near record lows as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus pandemic. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reports that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at last week’s 2.73%. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans ticked up to 2.21% from 2.20%. The government reported Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 779,000 last week, a still-historically high total showing that a sizable number of people keep losing jobs to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates were flat this week for a second straight week. Home-loan rates stayed near record lows as the economy, especially in the services sector, remains burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at last week’s 2.73%. By contrast, the rate stood at 3.47% a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, eased to 2.19% from 2.21%.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly to 793,000 last week, the government reported Thursday, evidence that job cuts remain high despite a substantial decline in new confirmed viral infections.

The damage from the pandemic to the U.S. and global economies suppressed mortgage rates through most of 2020. Economists are forecasting modest increases in home-loan rates this year.

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