US Mortgage Rates Fall Ahead of Spring Home Buying Season
Long-term fixed-rate mortgage rates fell to 4.28 percent this week, potentially giving consumers more incentive to commit to purchasing a home just as the spring home buying season gets under way, Freddie Mac said on Thursday.
The average rate on the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined from 4.31 percent the previous week, the mortgage buyer said.
“Mortgage rates have dipped quite dramatically since the start of the year and house prices continue to moderate, which should help on the homebuyer affordability front,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
“The combination of improving affordability and more inventory than the last few spring selling seasons should lead to improved home sales demand,” Khater said.
The latest word on mortgage rates comes a day ahead of the National Association of Realtors report on sales of existing homes in February.
Rates climbed robustly in 2018, peaking at about 5 percent in early November, but they’ve tailed off since then.
Last year at this time, the average rate on the benchmark 30-year loan stood at 4.45 percent.
Also declining this week was the 15-year, fixed-rate loans, which dropped to 3.71 percent from 3.76 percent a week earlier.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.84 percent with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.68 percent.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve left its key interest rate unchanged and signaled that it expects the pace of economic growth to slow over through the end of the year.
The Fed rate, which play a key role in the setting of mortgage rates, now stands at 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country from Monday through Wednesday each week.
The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.
In The News
Turkey prices are sinking as the pandemic may keep some American families from hosting big groups this Thanksgiving. The price of ingredients in a traditional turkey dinner for 10 people is down to the lowest level in a decade, driven largely by grocers discounting the meal's centerpiece to... Read More
Ørsted, the Danish renewable energy group, and the North America's Building Trades Unions have entered into a pact to train an offshore wind construction workforce as the firm eyes construction of a series of wind farm projects up and down the East Coast. The deal comes... Read More
DALLAS — Three of the biggest U.S. airlines say demand is weakening for the usually busy Thanksgiving period as the CDC cautioned Americans against traveling for the holiday. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines said Thursday that they have seen an increase in cancellations and a decrease in new bookings as a surge in COVID-19 cases... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators on Tuesday allowed emergency use of the first rapid coronavirus test that can be performed entirely at home and delivers results in 30 minutes. The announcement by the Food and Drug Administration represents an important step in U.S. efforts to expand... Read More
Behind President-elect Joe Biden's plans to drive the U.S. back to full employment after the coronavirus slump lies a long-lost idea: The unemployed need jobs, not skills. That "run it hot" recipe for recovery is back in favor among policymakers — including, crucially, at the Federal Reserve. The argument is that... Read More
WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden, faced with worsening economic and health crises, on Monday called for action from two political forces beyond his control: Congress, which is deadlocked over economic relief, and President Donald Trump, who refuses to concede the election and share information about the pandemic and national security.... Read More