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.
The National Association of Realtors is reporting this week that single female buyers continue to be a powerful force in the U.S. housing market, while low inventory, rising interest rates and increasing home prices remain, holding back first-time buyers despite notable interest in buying a home.