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US mortgage rates continue to fall but housing market still challenging – view from across the pond

  • 20/11/2023
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US mortgage rates continue to fall but housing market still challenging – view from across the pond
Mortgage Solutions takes its regular weekly look across the Atlantic and examines what’s going on in the US mortgage market.

In its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) revealed that 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 7.44 per cent, down from last week when they were 7.5 per cent. A year ago, the average rate was 6.61 per cent.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, noted that the continued downward trend could help bring more buyers back to the market.

He said: “For the third straight week, mortgage rates trended down, as new data indicates that inflationary pressures are receding.

“The combination of continued economic strength, lower inflation and lower mortgage rates should likely bring more potential homebuyers into the market.”

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.76 per cent, down from 6.81 last week. A year ago, the average stood at 5.98 per cent.


Applications at lowest level since 1995

A separate weekly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) noted that rates had remained static but that applications had risen, although they still remain at historically low levels.

The MBA reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed rate mortgages was unchanged form last week at 7.61 per cent. The average rate for the 15-year equivalent fell to 6.94 per cent from 6.98 per cent last week.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased by 2.8 per cent from one week earlier.

Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, said: “Although Treasury rates dipped midweek, mortgage rates were little changed on average through the week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained at 7.61 per cent, about 30 basis points lower than three weeks ago.

“Both purchase and refinance applications increased to the highest weekly pace in five weeks but remain at very low levels. Despite the recent downward trend, mortgage rates at current levels are still challenging for many prospective homebuyers and current homeowners.”

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