Mortgage Rates Are Back on the Rise

Mortgage Rates Are Back on the Rise
Freddie Mac | October 26, 2018

Borrowers were faced with rising mortgage rates again this week, after a slight pause from increases the week before.

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“Despite volatility in the stock market, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched forward just 1 basis point to 4.86 percent this week,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “We expect rates to continue to rise, which will put downward pressure on homebuying activity. While higher borrowing costs will keep some people out of the market, buyers with more flexibility could take advantage of the decreased competition.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 25, 2018:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.86 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising slightly from last week’s 4.85 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.94 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.29 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 4.26 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.25 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.14 percent, with an average 0.3 point, climbing from last week’s 4.10 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.21 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Mag News 102618

Bump in Contract Signings Points to Future Housing Gains

Bump in Contract Signings Points to Future Housing Gains
National Association of REALTORS® | October 25, 2018

Pending home sales increased slightly in September, with significant gains in the West and Midwest offsetting more modest growth in other regions, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking measure based on contract signings, shows signings inched up 0.5 percent nationwide to a reading of 104.6 in September. But on a year-over-year basis, contract signings have dropped 1 percent—marking the ninth consecutive month of annual decreases.

1810_Septermber-PHSNAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says the housing market is stabilizing. “This shows that buyers are out there on the sidelines, waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available and the price is right,” he says.

Lower affordability and a lack of moderately priced homes on the market are the two main factors putting a strain on sales, Yun says. Still, affordability is much more favorable when compared to the past few decades. “When compared to the year 2000—when the housing market was considered very healthy and home sales figures were roughly equivalent—the affordability conditions were much lower compared to now,” Yun says. “So even though affordability has been falling recently, the demand for housing should remain steady.”

Yun also believes the housing market will soon reflect the overall health of the economy. “The general condition of the economy is excellent, but it simply has not lifted home sales this year,” Yun says. “Home prices are still rising, so people who are purchasing are still seeing wealth gains.”

Many markets are seeing an increase in inventories, which is opening up choices for those who are looking to buy. Markets such as Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., all saw some of the largest increase in active listings in September compared to a year ago, according to data from realtor.com®.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Mag News 102518

Borrowers Finally See Some Relief With Mortgage Rates

Borrowers Finally See Some Relief With Mortgage Rates
Freddie Mac | October 19, 2018

Following weeks of gradual increases, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped slightly this week, possibly offering a slight window of opportunity at lower borrowing costs to some would-be buyers.

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“The modest decline in mortgage rates is a welcome respite from the rapid increase in rates the last few weeks,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While the housing market has clearly softened in reaction to the rise in mortgage rates, the economy and consumer sentiment remains very robust and that will sustain purchase demand, particularly in affordable markets and neighborhoods.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages in mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 18:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.85 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.90 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.88 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.26 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 4.29 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.19 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.10 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 4.07 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.17 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Mag News 101918

Mortgage Rates Jump to 7-Year High

Mortgage Rates Jump to 7-Year High
Freddie Mac | October 12, 2018

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hasn’t averaged this high since 2011, as it inches closer to the 5 percent threshold.

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“Rising rates paired with high and escalating home prices is putting downward pressure on purchase demand,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While the monthly payment remains affordable due to the still low mortgage rate environment, the primary hurdle for many borrowers today is the down payment and that is the reason home sales have decreased in many high-priced markets.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 11:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.71 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.91 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.29 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 4.15 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.21 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.07 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 4.01 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.16 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Mag News

Mortgage Rates Drop Slightly for First Time in 5 Weeks

Mortgage Rates Drop Slightly for First Time in 5 Weeks
Freddie Mac | October 5, 2018

Borrowers saw a slight cool down in mortgage rates this week following last week’s seven-year high. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped for the first time after five consecutive weeks of increases, averaging 4.71 percent.

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But the higher rates may be deterring some would-be home buyers. “The strength in the economy has failed to translate to gains in the housing market as higher mortgage rates have contributed to the decrease in home purchase applications, which are down from a year ago,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “With mortgage rates expected to track higher, it’s going to be a challenge for the housing market to regain momentum.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 4:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.71 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling slightly from last week’s 4.72 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.85 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.15 percent, with an average 0.4 point, decreasing from last week’s 4.16 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.15 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.01 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.97 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Mag News 100518

Mortgage Rates Surge to 7-Year High After Fed Hike

Mortgage Rates Surge to 7-Year High After Fed Hike
Freddie Mac | September 28, 2018

Mortgage rates surged to their highest averages since 2011 following the Federal Reserve’s announcement Wednesday that it is raising its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 4.72 percent, up from 4.65 percent last week.

“The robust economy, rising Treasury yields, and the anticipation of more short-term rate hikes caused mortgage rates to move up,” says Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. “Even with these higher borrowing costs, it’s encouraging to see that prospective buyers appear to be having a little more success. With inventory constraints and home prices starting to ease, purchase applications have now trended higher on an annual basis for six straight weeks.”

Khater also notes that consumer confidence is at an 18-year high, and job gains continue to hold steady. “These two factors should keep demand up in the coming months, but at the same time, home shoppers will likely deal with even higher mortgage rates,” Khater says. Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Sept. 27:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.72 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.65 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.83 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.16 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.11 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.13 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.97 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.92 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.20 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Mag News 092818

Nationally: Why Were Fewer Contracts Signed in August?

Nationally: Why Were Fewer Contracts Signed in August?
National Association of REALTORS® | September 27, 2018

Pending home sales continued to fall last month, marking the eighth consecutive month for annual decreases, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday. The drop in contracts may be a sign of a growing number of buyers who are being priced out of the market, economists warn.

August PHS InfographicNAR’s Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings—fell 1.8 percent to a reading of 104.2 in August. Contract signings are now 2.3 percent lower than a year ago.

The largest declines last month were in the West, where home prices have risen the most. “[This] clearly indicates that affordability is hindering buyers and those affordability issues come from lack of inventory, particularly in moderate price points,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

The decline in sales contracts has also coincided with fewer homes on the market. But that may soon change—a record high of Americans now say it’s a good time to sell their home, according to NAR’s third-quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey.

“Just a couple of years ago about 55 percent of consumers indicated it was a good time to sell; that figure has climbed to 77 percent today,” Yun says. “With prices having risen so quickly, many consumers were deciding to wait to list their homes hoping to see additional price and equity gains. However, with indications that buyers are beginning to pull out, price gains are going to decelerate and potential sellers are considering that now is a good time to list and bring more properties to the market.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Mag News 092718