NEW YORK — Long-term U.S. mortgage were unchanged this week as the benchmark 30-year home loan remains at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the key 30-year loan stood at 3.13%, the same as last week. It is the lowest level since Freddie began tracking average rates in 1971. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.73%.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose slightly to 2.59% from 2.58% last week, but it is down from 3.16% a year ago.

There is still a tight supply of homes available for sale, running up against high demand.

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