Decrease in average US mortgage rates; 30 years at 2.99%

WASHINGTON — Average long-term mortgage rates declined this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan slipping back below 3%.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage eased to 2.99% from 3.01% last week. The rate stood at 2.87% this time last year. It peaked this year at 3.18% in April.

The rate for a 15-year loan, a popular option for homeowners refinancing their mortgages, fell to 2.23% from 2.28% last week.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week, another sign that the U.S. job market and economy continue their steady recovery from last year’s coronavirus recession. Jobless claims fell by 38,000, to 326,000, the first drop in four weeks, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

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