US long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year at 3.01%

WASHINGTON — Average rates on long-term mortgages rose this week for the first time since June 25, after weeks of marking new record lows.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported today that the average rate on the key 30-year home loan increased to 3.01% from 2.98% last week — the first time in 50 years that it slipped below 3%. The rate averaged 3.75% a year ago.

Homebuying demand continues to rebound despite the stagnant recovery and economic indicators pointing to slow growth and possible persistent high unemployment, Freddie Mac said.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 2.54% from to 2.48% last week.

In the latest evidence of deepening economic pain, the coronavirus pandemic’s resurgence in large parts of the Sun Belt and across the country caused the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits to rise last week for the first time in nearly four months, the government reported Thursday.

The resurgence of confirmed cases of the virus has forced some businesses to close a second time or to impose tighter restrictions on customers in response to state mandates. The resulting pullback in economic activity has hindered job growth and likely forced additional layoffs.