U.S. Mortgage Rates Drop Below 3% for First Time Since February

Mortgage rates in the U.S. fell for a third straight week, creeping closer to the record low reached early this year.

The average for a 30-year loan was 2.97%, down from 3.04% last week and the lowest since late February, Freddie Mac data showed Thursday.

U.S. Mortgage Rates Drop Below 3% for First Time Since February

The recent slide in rates gives Americans another shot at borrowing costs near the lowest on record, for home purchases or refinancing current loans. The 30-year average tumbled last year, fueling the housing boom that has bolstered the pandemic economy. The record low of 2.65% came in early January.

Rates climbed since then, along with optimism for a recovery. Now they’re trending down again, tracking a decline in 10-year Treasury yields, despite upbeat economic reports and accelerating vaccine rollouts.

The break may be short-lived.

“The longer-term trend for mortgage rates remains to the upside,” Matthew Speakman, an economist at Zillow Group Inc., said in a statement before Freddie Mac’s data were released. “Barring a significant economic or pandemic-related setback, it’s unlikely that this downward movement in rates will continue for an extended period.”

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