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Relief For Homebuyers As 30-Year Mortgage Rates Experience Slight Dip

Even with the relief, mortgage rates remain close to the 7% threshold.
Cover Image Source: Mortgage | Unsplash | Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya
Cover Image Source: Mortgage | Unsplash | Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya

The average long-term mortgage rates in the US fell slightly last week, providing some relief for homebuyers. The average rate on a 30-year mortgage dropped to 6.79% from 6.87% last week, Freddie Mac, the publicly traded, government-sponsored enterprise, stated. The market has suffered from rising prices and a stubbornly low inventory of properties in the spring homebuying season. The average rate now stands at the lowest level in the past couple of weeks. However, the mortgage rates continue to remain near the 7% threshold, which is historically high.

Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Tierra Mallorca
Image Source: Unsplash | Photo by Tierra Mallorca

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage climbed to a 23-year high of 7.79% last year in October. However, it shortly cooled off with the average rate remaining below the 7% threshold since December.

It briefly went up to 6.94% last month, after stronger-than-expected reports on inflation. Last month’s rise in mortgage rates pushed up monthly payments for prospective homebuyers.


As of February, the national median payment on home loan applications stood at $2,184, an increase of 6% from last year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

While Freddie Mac’s data which is based on thousands of applications from lenders across the country shows a decline in rates, a separate report by Mortgage News Daily found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging at 6.91% as of Thursday. The survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association noted that the 30-year rate was 6.93% as of March 22.


Besides mortgage rates, Freddie Mac's data indicates a decrease in borrowing costs for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, another refinancing option for home loans, this week. The average rate has fallen to 6.11% from 6.21% last week. Last year, the same averaged 5.56%, according to the company.

"Regardless, rates remain elevated near 7% as markets watch for signs of cooling inflation, hoping that rates will come down further," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.


The housing market in the U.S. is coming off a 2-year long sales slump triggered by a sharp rise in mortgage rates and a shortage of properties in the market, according to AP. The slight pullback in mortgage rates since October has provided slight relief and some financial breathing room for home buyers.

"With rates still hovering around 7%, many prospective homebuyers are taking a 'wait-and-see' approach until affordability improves and more listings hit the market," Bob Broeksmit, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association said in the report.

Several economists expect that mortgage rates will continue to ease moderately this year, but the cooldown is not likely to happen unless the U.S. Federal Reserve begins cutting its benchmark interest rate.

Most recently, the murky job market and the overall economic outlook clouded the timeline for when the Fed may begin lowering its short-term interest rate. Following the recent meeting, the central bank maintained its rate unchanged but signaled plans for three rate cuts later this year. However, these cuts will only occur when clearer evidence of inflation slowing down emerges, as stated in the report. 


Factors such as investors' sentiment, expectations for future inflation, and the Fed's short-term interest rate adjustments can further impact rates on home loans, offering either relief or additional challenges for homebuyers.