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The news on US long-term mortgage rates is mixed (July 15)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The benchmark 30-year loan has fallen for the third straight week amid lingering concerns over the recent surge in inflation.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average for the 30-year home loan eased to 2.88 percent from 2.9 percent last week, down from its peak this year of 3.18 percent in April. The key rate stood at 2.98 percent a year ago.

The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option among homeowners refinancing their mortgages, edged up to 2.22 percent from 2.2 percent last week.

Freddie Mac economists expect economic growth to gradually push mortgage rates higher in the second half of the year.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell addressed the concerns on inflation, which has been rising in recent months as the recovery from the pandemic recession strengthens. He suggested in testimony to a US House committee Wednesday that inflation “will likely remain elevated” in coming months before “moderating.” At the same time, Powell signaled no imminent change in the Fed’s ultra-low interest rate policies.

In the latest sign of intensified inflation pressure, the government reported Tuesday that prices paid by US consumers surged in June by the most in 13 years. It was the third straight month that inflation has jumped.

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