Rates Jump After Dour Inflation Data

Tough inflation data led to mortgage rates increasing for a second straight week. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.77%, up from the week prior’s 6.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.32%. The 15-year fixed jumped to 6.12% from 5.90%. A year ago, it averaged 5.51%. “On the heels of consumer prices rising more than expected, mortgage rates increased this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The economy has been performing well so far this year and rates may stay higher for longer, potentially slowing the spring homebuying season. According to our data, mortgage applications to buy a home so far in 2024 are down in more…

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…

Mortgage Rates Decline, Reversing One-Week Uptick

Mortgage rates reversed a one-time uptick and fell last week, giving potential buyers even more breathing room. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.63%, down from the week prior’s 6.69%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.09%. Rates have now been largely stable, within the mid-6’s, for almost two months. The 15-year fixed also decreased to 5.94% from 5.96%. A year ago, it averaged 5.14%. “Although affordability continues to impact homeownership, the combination of a solid economy, strong demographics, and lower mortgage rates are setting the stage for a more robust housing market,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. Khater noted that expected disinflation should push rates down further…

Predictions: Rate Cuts Unlikely This Week

By PATRICK LAVERY Seven weeks ago, the 2023 slate of policy meetings for the Federal Open Market Committee concluded with members voting to leave the key interest rate unchanged for a third straight time. However, anyone hoping that 2024 will begin with some movement in a downward direction is likely to be disappointed this week. Despite a seemingly positive economic outlook that has the stock market soaring to record highs, the experts seem to agree that there will be no change made when Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell emerges from the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. The stability, so to speak, of the Fed’s policy interest rate has been mirrored somewhat in the housing market recently. According to Freddie Mac,…

December Pending Home Sales Saw Biggest Increase Since 2020

Pending home sales soared in December, proving that price-sensitive buyers are jumping at the opportunity to lock in sub-7% rates. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose by 8.3% month-over-month — their biggest increase since 2020 — to a reading of 77.3 in December. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, they are up 1.3%. “The housing market is off to a good start this year, as consumers benefit from falling mortgage rates and stable home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Job additions and income growth will further help with housing affordability, but increased supply will be essential to satisfying all potential demand.” All four U.S. regions saw declines both month-over-month…

Mortgage Rates Tick Up But Remain Under 7%

Mortgage rates inched up but remained within the mid-6% range, a welcome moment of stability after a rollercoaster year. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.69%, up from the week prior’s 6.60%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.13%. The 15-year fixed also rose to 5.96% from 5.76%. A year ago, it averaged 5.17%. “The 30-year fixed-rate has remained within a very narrow range over the last month, settling in at 6.69% this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “Given this stabilization in rates, potential homebuyers with affordability concerns have jumped off the fence back into the market. Despite persistent inventory challenges, we anticipate a busier spring homebuying…

Rates Fall To 6.60%

Mortgage rates have slipped to their lowest levels since May. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.60%, down from the week prior’s 6.66%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.15%. The 15-year fixed fell to 5.76% from 5.87%. A year ago, it averaged 5.28%. “This is an encouraging development for the housing market and in particular for first-time homebuyers who are sensitive to changes in housing affordability,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “However, as purchase demand continues to thaw, it will put more pressure on already depleted inventory for sale.” Rates are the primary concern of most potential buyers, but the market remains crippled by ongoing stock shortages…

Rates Rise For Second Week, But Not By Much

Mortgage rates increased slightly last week but remain in the mid-6s, encouraging some potential buyers to come off the sidelines. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.66%, up from the week prior’s 6.62%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.33%. This is the second consecutive week of increases, but just the second since October. Rates have fallen more than a full percentage point since then, giving homebuyers more breathing room as they struggle against record-high unaffordability. The 15-year fixed rate bucked this trend and fell for a second week, from 5.89% to 5.87%. A year ago, it averaged 5.52%. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater noted that even as rates…

Rates Remain Effectively Unchanged At 6.62%

Mortgage rates remained basically unchanged last week as markets adjust to economic expectations for 2024. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.62%, inching up from the week prior’s 6.61%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.48%. This is the first increase since October. Rates have fallen more than a full percentage point since then, giving homebuyers more breathing room as they struggle against record-high unaffordability. The 15-year fixed rate dropped, however, from 5.93% to 5.89%. A year ago, it averaged 5.73%. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater ascribed the news to the slow machinations of the market as it “digests incoming economic data.” He pointed out that rates stopped their…

Rates Fall To 6.67%

Mortgage rates sank last week, buoying buyers, sellers, and builders’ spirits ahead of the holiday. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.67%, down from the week prior’s 6.95%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.27%. The 15-year fixed rate dropped as well, down more than 40 bps to 5.95%. A year ago, it averaged 5.69%. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained below seven percent for the second week in a row, a welcome downward trend after 17 consecutive weeks above seven percent,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Lower rates are bringing potential home buyers who were previously waiting on the sidelines back into the market and builders already are…