U.S. Mortgage Rates Reach 3% for the First Time Since April

Mortgage rates in the U.S. rose for the first time this month.

The average for a 30-year loan was 3%, up from 2.94% last week, Freddie Mac data showed Thursday. It was the first time since mid-April that the rate was at or above 3%.

Rates have see-sawed over the past few weeks as investors process economic data and look for signs of inflation triggered by the country’s recovery from the pandemic. There’s a growing consensus that the Federal Reserve may have to consider tapering its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage bonds if growth continues at its current pace, according to George Ratiu, senior economist at Realtor.com.

Cheap loans have fueled a rally in home purchases and given Americans more buying power even as bidding wars push up prices. The 30-year average hit a record low of 2.65% in early January. It climbed above 3% this year amid optimism about the rebound, then dipped below that benchmark, where it remained for four weeks.

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