According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey for mid-August 2018, U.S. mortgage rates decreased for the third straight week.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, says mortgage rates inched backward this week to their lowest level since mid-April. "Backed by very strong consumer spending, the economy is red-hot this month, which is in turn rippling through the financial markets and driving equities higher," he said. "Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the housing market, where it appears sales activity crested in late 2017. Existing-home sales have now stepped back annually for the fifth straight month, and purchase mortgage applications this week were barely above year ago levels."
Added Khater, "It is clear affordability constraints have cooled the housing market, especially in expensive coastal markets. Many metro areas desperately need more new and existing affordable inventory to break out of this slump."
Freddie Mac News Facts
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.51 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 23, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 4.53 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.86 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.98 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.01 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.16 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.82 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it with an average 3.87 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.17 percent.
According to new U.S. housing market research by Zillow, the combination of rising home prices and interest rates creates a doubly challenging environment for would-be home buyers, making monthly mortgage payments on even modestly priced homes more of a financial burden.
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey for late August 2018, U.S. mortgage rates were marginally higher over the past week. Mortgage rates are showing a steadiness last seen in the fall of 2016.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales subsided for the fourth straight month in July 2018 to their slowest pace in over two years. The West was the only major region with an increase in sales last month.