Home borrowing costs remained at low levels in the latest survey and continue to buoy the housing market. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was essentially unchanged this week at 2.87% with 0.8 in points and fees. A year ago at this time, the rate averaged 3.57%. “The year-long slide in mortgage rates seems to be ending as rates have flattened over the last month and the economic rebound has slowed,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “But with near record low rates, buyer demand remains robust with strong first-time buyers coming into the market. The demand is particularly strong in more affordable regions of the country such as the Midwest, where home prices are accelerating at the highest rates over the last two decades.”
Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits continued to run stubbornly high in the latest week. Weekly Initial Jobless Claims came in at 840,000 for the week ended October 3, down from the 849,0000 in the previous week. The 840,000 is well below the 6 million seen in late March and early April at the height of the pandemic. Continuing claims, which measures those receiving benefits for at least two weeks straight, fell to 10,976,000 from 11,979,000.