Mortgage Rates Ease This Week

Mortgage Rates Ease This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | April 6, 2018

rates040518

Borrowers found some relief for the second consecutive week with lower mortgage rates.

“After dropping earlier this week on trade-related anxiety in financial markets, the benchmark 10-year Treasury stabilized on Wednesday, but at a level slightly lower than from the start of last week,” explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Mortgage rates followed and fell for the second consecutive week. … Though rates on the 30-year fixed mortgage are up 0.3 percentage points from the same week a year ago, a robust labor market is helping home purchase demand weather modestly higher rates.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported in its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey that its index for home purchase applications is up 5 percent from a year ago “indicating that this spring is on track for a modest expansion in purchase mortgage activity,” Kiefer adds.

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for the week ending April 5:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.40 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.44 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.87 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 3.90 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.62 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.66 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.19 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 040618

Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly This Week

Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 30, 2018

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 1 basis point to an average 4.44 percent this week, Freddie Mac reports.

rates032918

“Treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates modestly lower,” explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below 2.8 percent for the first time since early February of this year. The decline in Treasury yields comes as investors move into safer assets amid increased trade tensions. Following Treasury yields, mortgage rates fell slightly.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 29:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.44 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.45 percent average. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.14 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.91 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.39 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.66 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 3.68 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 033018

Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week

Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 23, 2018

rates032318

After last week’s first rate drop of the year, mortgage rates showed little change this week—a welcome sign for the week’s kickoff to the spring home shopping season.

But home buyers and borrowers should expect several rate increases over the next few months, economists caution.

“The Federal Reserve raised interest rates [this week]—a much-anticipated move that comes as both U.S. and global economic fundamentals continue to strengthen,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point puts the federal funds rate at its highest level since 2008. The decision, while widely expected, sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury soaring.” (Read: Fed Raises Rates: What This Means for Mortgages)

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 1 basis point this week and averaged 4.45 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

“So far, U.S. housing markets remain resilient in the face of higher mortgage rates,” Kiefer notes. The National Association of REALTORS® reported earlier this week that existing-home sales in February increased 3 percent month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and are up 1.1 percent from a year ago.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 22:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.45 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.44 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.91 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.90 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.44 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.68 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.67 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.24 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032318

Mortgage Rates Post First Decline of 2018

Mortgage Rates Post First Decline of 2018
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 16, 2018

Following nine consecutive weeks of increases, borrowers finally got some relief this week with mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage posted its first week-over-week decrease of 2018.

“Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report indicated inflation may be cooling down; headline consumer price inflation was 2.2 percent year over year in February,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Following this news, the 10-year Treasury fell slightly. Mortgage rates followed Treasurys and ended a nine-week surge. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell 2 basis points to 4.44 percent in this week’s survey, its first decline this year.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 15:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.44 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.46 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.67 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 3.63 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.28 percent.

rates031518

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 031618

Mortgage Rates Tick Up for 9th Straight Week

Mortgage Rates Tick Up for 9th Straight Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 9, 2018

rates030918

Borrowers were once again faced with rising mortgage rates this week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to be at its highest average in four years.

“The 10-year Treasury yield has been bouncing around in a narrow 15 basis point range for the last month,” explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While the yield on the 10-year Treasury is currently below the high of 2.95 percent reached two weeks ago, mortgage rates are up for the ninth consecutive week. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose 3 basis points to 4.46 percent in this week’s survey, its highest level since January 2014.”

Lawrence Yun commented this morning on the likely impact of the surprising job numbers on mortgages.

“The strong job growth assures at least three interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in 2018. Because of the low unemployment rate, further normalization in monetary policy should be expected in 2019 as well, meaning another three or four rate hikes next year. Mortgage rates will therefore rise and rise—that in itself hurts housing affordability,” Yun said. “But factors that can help with affordability are more income to households (possibly a second income earner getting a job) and if home prices can finally moderate. For slower home price growth, more home construction is needed. Job openings in the construction industry remain at historic highs. It is now a matter of providing necessary skills to go into the industry.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 8:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.46 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 4.43 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.21 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.90 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.42 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.63 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.62 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.23 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 030918

Freddie Still Bullish on New-Home Sales

Freddie Still Bullish on New-Home Sales
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 5, 2018

House 1032New-home sales may have started 2018 by softening, but that hasn’t made Freddie Mac economists lose their optimism that the sector will be key to driving the housing market in 2018. New-home sales plunged 7.8 percent in January month over month, but economists remain hopeful.

“While existing home sales may struggle to top their best-in-over-a-decade 2017 performance, new home sales should provide enough growth to push total home sales in the U.S. modestly higher in 2018,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Housing construction continues to lag demand by a wide margin, so we expect to see housing starts grind higher in 2018.”

Freddie Mac economists also predict that tax reform recently enacted will have a limited influence on national home prices. Certain markets with higher average incomes and those with higher property tax rates may see an impact on home prices ranging up to 2 percentage points, Freddie Mac predicts.

Instead, economists predict the highest impact on home prices will come from rising mortgage rates. Freddie Mac has revised its forecasts on mortgage rates since its January Outlook. It now predicts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to average 4.6 percent for 2018, up from its 4.5 percent forecast in January.

Home prices are expected to continue to increase too. The most recent release of the Freddie Mac House Price Index shows U.S. house prices increased 7.1 percent from December 2016 and December 2017.

“With construction ramping up slowly to meet demand, house prices should continue to increase, though the pace of growth may moderate as higher interest rates pinch affordability and the tax bill shifts the balance between buy and rent,” says Kiefer.

Freddie Mac estimates that about $14.8 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the fourth quarter for the refinance of conventional prime-credit mortgages (adjusted for inflation in 2017 dollars). That does represent a decrease from $19 billion the year prior.

Source: “Will the New Tax Bill Dampen the Industry?” Freddie Mac Outlook (Feb. 27, 2018) and “Freddie Mac Still Predicts New Home Sales to Drive 2018 Growth,” HousingWire (Feb. 28,2 018); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 030518

Climbing Mortgage Rates Reach 4-Year High

Climbing Mortgage Rates Reach 4-Year High
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | February 16, 2018

rates021618

Mortgage rates continued to inch higher this week, marking the sixth consecutive week for borrowing cost increases for home shoppers.

“Wednesday’s Consumer Price Index report showed higher-than-expected inflation; headline consumer price inflation was 2.1 percent year-over-year in January, two-tenths of a percentage point higher than the consensus forecast,” explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Inflation measures were broad-based, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve will go forward with monetary tightening later this year. Following this news, the 10-year Treasury reached its highest level since January 2014, climbing above 2.90 percent. Mortgage rates have also surged.”

After jumping 10 basis points last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 6 basis points to 4.38 percent, its highest level since April 2014.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 15:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.38 percent with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 4.32 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.15 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.84 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.77 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.35 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.63 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.57 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 021618