Rates Fall Again After New Year Increase

The 30-year fixed rate dipped last week after inching up in the first weeks of the new year, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.33%, down from 6.48% the week prior.

A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.45 percent.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 5.73% to 5.52%. A year ago, it averaged 2.62%.

“While mortgage rates have resumed their decline, the market remains hypersensitive to rate movements, with purchase demand experiencing large swings relative to small changes in rates,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. 

“Over the last few weeks latent demand has been on display with buyers jumping in and out of the market as rates move.”

Homebuyers are feeling slightly more optimistic about the market as mortgage rates ease, but not by much. Home purchase sentiment increased in December but remains near an all-time low.

Though more consumers think prices and rates will moderate over the next year, they are still unhappy with where those numbers stand today.

“As we enter 2023, we expect affordability to remain the top challenge for potential homebuyers, as even small declines in rates and home prices – from the perspective of the buyer – may not produce sufficient purchasing power,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. 

Refis saw a boost this week thanks to moderating rates and data released last week showing a slowing economy. But overall demand remains down. Purchase loan volume fell to its lowest point since 2014 in the same week.

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