US long-term mortgage rates flat; 30-year at 2.71%

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FILE – This Sept. 19, 2011, file photo shows a home with a for sale sign in front, in Newton, Mass. U.S. long-term mortgage rates were unchanged this week, remaining at record low levels against the backdrop of an economy punished by the pandemic. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at 2.71% from last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate stood at 3.73% a year ago.. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates were unchanged this week, remaining at record low levels against the backdrop of an economy punished by the pandemic.

Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan remained at 2.71% from last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate stood at 3.73% a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans stayed at 2.26%.

Home loan rates have trended downward through most of this year, bolstering demand from would-be homebuyers or people looking to refinance existing mortgages. But home sales have stalled as the lack of available homes for purchase continues to stifle house hunters.

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