Mortgage Rates Slip Again

Mortgage rates fell again, the third consecutive week of declines, but once again gave only an inch.

Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.67%, down from 6.69% the week prior.

A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.81%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped as well, down from 6.10% to 6.03%. A year ago, it averaged 4.92%.

“Mortgage rates slid down again this week but remain elevated compared to this time last year,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. 

“Potential homebuyers have been watching rates closely and are waiting to come off the sidelines. However, inventory challenges persist as the number of existing homes for sale remains very low. Though, a recent rebound in single-family housing starts is an encouraging development that will hopefully extend through the summer.”

Existing home sales ticked up last month, just enough to give analysts a brief moment of positive news without any significant impact on the market. The result is essentially flat.

Single-family housing starts, on the other hand, rose a whopping 18.5% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 997,000. In percentage terms, it is the largest single-month jump since June 2020.

“The strong sales environment is giving builders more confidence to start more homes, especially quick move-in inventory,” Zonda chief economist Ali Wolf said.

Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan suggested that the rebound may be attributable in part to “statistical noise,” however. But he ceded that increases are in line with market trends.

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