WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates continued to rise this week. The rate on the benchmark 30-year loan breached 3.5%.
Home loan rates have been running in recent weeks at levels not seen since early 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was breaking in the U.S. They remain at historically low levels, however.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan rose to 3.56% from 3.45% last week. By contrast, it stood at 2.77% a year ago.
The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, popular among those refinancing their homes, jumped to 2.79% from 2.62% last week.
Mortgage rates have been expected to rise this year after the Federal Reserve announced last month that it would begin dialing back its monthly bond purchases — which are intended to lower long-term rates — to slow accelerating inflation. But even with the expected three or four rate increases in 2022, the Fed’s key rate would still be historically low at around 1%.