By MATT OTT
AP Business Writer
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates moved slightly higher in the final week of 2021. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark, 30-year home loan ticked up to 3.11% this week from 3.05% last week. A year ago, the 30-year rate stood at 2.67%. Many economists expect rates to rise next year after the Federal Reserve announced earlier this month that it would begin dialing back its monthly bond purchases. A lack of supply and rising home prices have frustrated many house hunters seeking more space since the pandemic erupted almost two year ago.