Rates Dip Back Below 7%

Homebuyers saw some relief last week as rates fell back below 7%.

Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.99%, down from the week prior’s 7.03%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.71%.

The 15-year also fell to 6.29% from 6.36%. A year ago at this time, it was 6.07%.

“Mortgage rates retreated this week given incoming data showing slower growth,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Rates are just shy of 7%, and we expect them to modestly decline over the remainder of 2024.”

Even so, Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic about the housing market. Homebuying sentiment dipped to an all-time low in Fannie Mae’s survey on the topic. Buyers, who started the year optimistic about cooling costs and rising inventory, have soured on the prospect of better days ahead.

Most believe serious affordability recovery won’t come in 2024.

“If a potential buyer is looking to buy a home this year, waiting for lower rates may result in small savings, but shopping around for the best rate remains tremendously beneficial,” Khater continued.

Shopping around for a mortgage can save borrowers more than $76,000 over the life of the loan, LendingTree recently reported, breaking down to more than $200 a month.

This is true in every state, though the actual savings vary based on local market variables and an individual’s financial situation. Borrowers in California, Hawaii, and New Jersey can save the most by speaking with multiple lenders.

But many buyers don’t take the time to compare rates. Only 22% of recent homeowners said they spoke to two lenders, let alone more.