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US average mortgage rates go down slightly (May 6)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Mortgage rates fell slightly this week, marking their third straight week below 3 percent amid signs of the recovering economy’s strength.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the benchmark 30-year home-loan rate eased to 2.96 percent from 2.98 percent last week. At this time last year, the long-term rate was 3.26 percent.

The rate for a 15-year loan, popular among those seeking to refinance, slipped to 2.30 percent from 2.31 percent last week.

Experts are expecting mortgage rates to increase modestly in the short term while remaining at low levels in light of the Federal Reserve’s goal of keeping its key interest rate near zero until the economy recovers from the pandemic.

After its rate-setting meeting last week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made clear that the central bank isn’t even close to starting a pullback in its ultra-low interest rate policies. This despite the economy’s rapid strengthening, inflation showing signs of picking up, and the country making progress toward defeating the viral pandemic.

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