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Mortgage rates are falling for the first time since January

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MKLIN, V. (AP) – Mortgage rates have fallen for the first time in more than two months as buyers continue to drown in high prices and limited supply.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mack said on Thursday that the 30-year interest rate had fallen to 3.13% this week from 3.18% a week earlier, compared to 3.33% in the same period last year.

The 15-year loan interest rate, which is common among refinancing, fell 2.42% from 2.45% last week. A year ago it was 2.77%.

Mortgage rates have been low for years, but high demand and low inventory have pushed up prices.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors said its expected home sales index fell 10.6 percent in February to 110.3 percent year-over-year.

At the same time, US house prices rose the fastest in seven years in January, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city house price index. The epidemic has boosted demand for single-family homes as more people seek space.

Economists expect interest rates on home loans to remain low as the Federal Reserve says it intends to keep key lending rates close to zero until the economy recovers from the coronavirus epidemic.

On Thursday, the Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits reached 744,000 last week, noting that many employers are still cutting jobs, even more people are being vaccinated against COVID-19, and state-run local governments bodies remove restrictions on viruses.

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