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US long-term mortgage rates hit new low; 30-year at 2.80%

A for sale sign stands in front of a house, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Westwood, Mass. U.S. long-term mortgage rates slipped this week as the key 30-year loan marked a new all-time low for the 11th time this year. Home loan rates have notched a year-long decline amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
A for sale sign stands in front of a house, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Westwood, Mass. U.S. long-term mortgage rates slipped this week as the key 30-year loan marked a new all-time low for the 11th time this year. Home loan rates have notched a year-long decline amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – U.S. long-term mortgage rates slipped this week as the key 30-year loan marked a new all-time low for the 11th time this year.

Home loan rates have notched a year-long decline amid economic anxiety in the recession set off by the coronavirus pandemic. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year benchmark loan edged down to 2.80% from 2.81% last week. By contrast, the rate averaged 3.75% a year ago.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 2.33% from 2.35%.

The low borrowing rates have bolstered demand from prospective homebuyers. Real estate database Zillow noted that home sales have continued an impressive run into September, as buyers have “stayed their course” despite the ongoing pandemic and the persistent shortage of available homes for sale.

Existing home sales last month rose at the fastest annual rate since 2010.

In a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still at historically high levels, the government reported Thursday that the number of laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000.