US long-term mortgage rates have risen slightly

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SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — US long-term mortgage rates ticked up this week but remain at historic lows as the coronavirus pandemic continues to batter the economy even as more Americans get vaccinated.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose from 2.73 percent to 2.81 percent. One year ago, the rate was 3.49 percent.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among those seeking to refinance their mortgages, rose from 2.19 percent to 2.21 percent. A year ago it was 2.99 percent.

The 5-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent, down from 2.79 percent last week. It averaged 3.25 percent one year ago.

While economists expect modest increases in home-loan rates this year, they likely will remain low with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero until the economy recovers.

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

Although the housing market has been one of the stronger sectors of the US economy since early summer, the overall economy remains at the mercy of the ongoing pandemic.

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