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US mortgage rates fall to lowest on record; 30-year loan at 2.72%

US mortgage rates fall to lowest on record; 30-year loan at 2.72%
Posted at 1:42 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 13:42:47-05

WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, reaching record lows for the 13th time this year amid fresh signs of weakness in the pandemic-ravaged economy.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark loan declined to 2.72% from 2.84% last week.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 2.28% from 2.34%.

The low rates in 2020 have spurred demand in the housing market. The National Associated of Realtors says housing offers for single-family homes have increased for six consecutive months. They are now at their highest level since 2007, according to the Census Bureau.

Existing home sales in October 2020 were 26.6 percent higher than the number of sales in October 2019. The median sale price, nationwide, has also increased; it is now $313,000, roughly 16 percent more in 2020 than this time last year.

The NAR has warned that the dwindling number of available housing units is down to only a few months supply.

Fresh signs emerged this week that the resurgent coronavirus outbreak is likely slowing the economy and forcing more companies to cut jobs.

The government reported that retail sales in the U.S. grew a sluggish 0.3% in October, even as retailers offered early holiday discounts online and in stores.