According to Freddie Mac's latest Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. remained unchanged for the third consecutive week in late January 2019.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, says, "Mortgage rates have stabilized during the last month and are essentially at the same level as last spring - yet the most recent home sales are roughly half a million lower over the same period. Given that the economy remains on solid footing and weekly mortgage purchase application activity has been strong so far in 2019, we expect the decline in home sales to moderate or even reverse over the next couple of months."
Freddie Mac News Facts
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.45 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending January 24, 2019, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.62 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.87 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.52 percent.
Sales of new single-family homes fell 8 percent year over year in January 2019, the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines in new-home sales. But the size of the drop was smaller than in December in all regions except the West.
After falling for nearly four consecutive years, housing inventory has turned a corner, growing on an annual basis in four of the past five months. U.S. for-sale home inventory grew 1.2 percent year-over-year.
Sales of new homes in all four major U.S. regions significantly declined in the last two months of 2018. The year-over-year trend was especially drastic in the Northeast, where new-home sales fell by 16.1 percent in December.
According to the newly released 2018 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, the median income for a first-time buyer in the U.S. is $72,500, compared with the national median household income of $60,700.
Home-value growth in the U.S. is slowing, home price cuts are more common and for-sale inventory is up. Sounds like relief is imminent for home buyers, right? Not so fast. Mortgage rates have been steadily climbing for the past two years.
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