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Benchmark long-term mortgage rates have risen slightly (Dec. 31)

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MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — Long-term mortgage rates ticked up slightly this week but remain near record lows as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the US and global economies.

The average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose to 2.67 percent from a record-low 2.66 percent last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday. A year ago, it stood at 3.72 percent.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, dipped to 2.17 percent from 2.19 percent last week. A year ago it averaged 3.16 percent.

The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.71 percent, down from last week’s 2.79 percent. It averaged 3.16 percent one year ago.

Record low lending rates have helped push buyers into the housing market, but a lack of available homes has left many house hunters empty-handed. The lack of supply has been pushing prices up even before the pandemic struck.

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