US mortgage rates hover near all-time lows; 30-year at 3.28%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates were mostly steady this week, hovering near all-time lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan edged up to 3.28% from 3.26% last week. A year ago, the rate stood at 4.07%.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.72% from 2.73% last week.

Mortgage applications for home purchases reached a new low in April as the economy and housing market reeled from the shutdown spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. The normally busy spring homebuying season has been upended. At the same time, however, home prices have been rising.

Grim data, meanwhile, continues to pour in showing the economic damage from the virus that shut down wide swaths of business and social life. The government reported Thursday that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits because of the pandemic has soared to 36 million in two months.

The spike of nearly 3 million laid off workers applying for U.S. unemployment benefits last week came despite most states having begun letting some businesses reopen under certain restrictions.

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