Mortgage Rates Move Up Just Barely

Mortgage rates were basically stagnant last week, staying put in the upper-6% range yet again.

Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.82%, up just slightly from the week prior’s 6.79%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.28%.

The 15-year fixed rate also fell from 6.11% to 6.06%. A year ago, it averaged 5.64%. 

This week’s data reinforces that rates have stabilized in the 6%’s for the moment.

“Since the start of 2024, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has not reached 7% but has not dropped below 6.6% either,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.

“While incoming economic signals indicate lower rates of inflation, we do not expect rates will decrease meaningfully in the near-term. On the plus side, inventory is improving somewhat, which should help temper home price growth.”

Inventory grew in March for the fifth consecutive month. 

Though high interest rates are preventing many would-be buyers from making the leap, sellers appear to be getting the picture: 15% have slashed their listing prices.

“A growing share of price reductions shows that even though buyers may feel that sellers hold all of the cards in today’s housing market, more sellers are willing to adjust their expectations more often than is typical for this time of year,” Chief Economist Danielle Hale noted.

Concessions can encourage buyers off the sidelines in the current high cost environment. There are 550 cities where the typical home value is $1 million or more, up from 491 last year, as dwindling listings force prices higher.

Jeremy SickLick of HouseCanary anticipates a slow spring homebuying season as a result of these pressures.

“With rates and home prices continuing to rise, we expect a quieter spring buying season to continue throughout the months ahead,” he said.

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