According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the eighth-consecutive week.
Freddie Mac's Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said, "Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December. Following Treasuries, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 3 basis points to reach 4.43 percent in this week's survey. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year and increasing for 8 consecutive weeks.
"As we documented, historically when mortgage rates surge, housing swoons. But we think strength in the economy and pent up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates. We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases. The MBA reported in their latest weekly applications survey that home purchase mortgage originations were up 3 percent from a year ago".
Freddie Mac News Facts
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.43 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 1, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.40 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.62 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down slightly from last week when it averaged 3.65. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.14 percent.
According to HUD, the U.S. national vacancy rate in the first quarter 2019 was 7.0 percent for rental housing and 1.4 percent for homeowner housing. The rental vacancy rate of 7.0 percent was virtually unchanged from the rate in the first quarter 2018.
According to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department, total housing starts fell 0.3 percent in March 2019 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million units from a downwardly revised reading in February 2019.
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, U.S. mortgage rates rose modestly this 2nd week of April 2019, with the 30-year fixed-rate averaging 4.12 percent. Rates moved up slightly this week while mortgage applications decreased following last week's jump in rates.
A total of 161,875 U.S. properties with a foreclosure filing during the first quarter of 2019, down 23 percent from the previous quarter and down 15 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since Q1 2008.
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