(Bloomberg) -- Mortgage rates in the U.S. slipped to the lowest level in almost a month.
The average for a 30-year loan was 2.86%, down from 2.88% last week and the lowest since Aug. 19, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.
It was a small move for rates, which haven't budged much since early August. Cheaper mortgages have powered the pandemic homebuying rally and enabled borrowers with existing loans to save money by refinancing.
The 30-year average sunk throughout 2020 and reached a record low of 2.65% at the beginning of this year. It has climbed since then, tracking yields for 10-year Treasuries, which have been above 1% since January.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to start scaling back its monthly bond purchases in coming months, a move that may gradually push up mortgage rates.
Sustained inflation and a pickup in economic activity may also help drive drive rates up, according to Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com. Still, rates have been below 3% since July and it's unclear when they'll move above that level.
"Whether that happens next month or six months from now is very hard to say," he said. "I'm surprised they've stayed this low for this long."
(Updates with analyst quote at bottom of story.)
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