Average US Mortgage Rates Soar; 30-year loan at 3.05%

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term mortgage rates skyrocketed this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan surpassing 3% again. Mortgage Buyer …

WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term mortgage rates skyrocketed this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan surpassing 3% again.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the median rate for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.05% from 2.99% last week. That’s its highest level since April, when it peaked at 3.18%. The key rate stood at 2.81% this time last year.

The rate on a 15-year loan, a popular option for homeowners refinancing their mortgages, rose to 2.30% from 2.23% last week.

The rise in mortgage rates came amid continued inflationary pressures as the coronavirus pandemic persists. The government reported Wednesday that retail-level inflation rose 0.4% in September, with its consumer price index up 5.4% in the past 12 months, matching the fastest pace since 2008.

This year’s surge in inflation reflects higher prices for food and energy and a host of other items, from furniture to cars, as the pandemic has tangled supply chains and demand has outstripped supply.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since the pandemic began early last year, a sign that the job market is still improving even as hiring has slowed in the past two months. Jobless claims fell 36,000 last week to 293,000, the second straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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