Rates Hold Steady at 6.64%

Rates stayed basically the same last week, inching up just slightly.

Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.64%, barely budging from the week prior’s 6.63%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.12%.

Rates have stuck around the mid-6’s  for about two months now.

The 15-year fixed decreased to 5.90% from 5.94%. A year ago, it averaged 5.25%.

“The economy and labor market remain strong with wage growth outpacing inflation, which is keeping consumer spending robust,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.

“Meanwhile, affordability in the housing market is an ongoing issue due to continued high home prices, elevated mortgage rates and low supply of homes on the market, particularly for first-time and low-income homebuyers.”

More than 85% of metros registered home price increases in the last quarter of 2023, the National Association of Realtors reported, proving that price appreciation remains a serious obstacle for potential buyers.

The monthly mortgage payment on the typical existing home with a 20% down payment was $2,163, up 10% YOY and double that of three years ago.

“Homeowners have benefited from housing wealth accumulation. However, many homebuyers have been shocked at high housing costs,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This doubling in housing costs for recent home buyers is not included in the official consumer price index inflation calculations and contributes to the sense of dissatisfaction about the economy.”

Affordability is hovering at a decade-low, with just 37.7% of new and existing homes sold in the same period priced within reach of families earning $96,300, the median American income.

Shelter costs made up more than half of the inflation increases registered in the latest Consumer Price Index.

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