US long-term mortgage rates fall; 30-year at 2.67%

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An “I’m Taken” placard rests on a real estate for sale sign outside a home, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. U.S. long-term mortgage rates declined this week to record low levels for the 15th time this year against the backdrop of an economy ravaged by the pandemic. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan fell to 2.67% from 2.71% last week. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.73%. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates declined this week to record low levels for the 15th time this year against the backdrop of an economy ravaged by the pandemic.

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan fell to 2.67% from 2.71% last week. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.73%.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans eased to 2.21% from 2.26%.

The housing market continues as a rare bright spot in the stalled U.S. economy, as home-loan rates have trended downward through most of this year. That has bolstered demand from would-be homebuyers or people looking to refinance existing mortgages.

Home sales have stalled, however, as the lack of available homes for purchase continues to stifle house hunters.

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