Mortgage Rates Continue Downward Trend
Freddie Mac reports 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage falls to 6.09%.
Mortgage rates continued to decline, falling for the fourth straight week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.
According to the enterprise’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 6.09% for the week ended Feb. 2.
“Mortgage rates inched down again, with the 30-year fixed-rate down nearly a full point from November, when it peaked at just over 7%,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “According to Freddie Mac research, this 1-percentage-point reduction in rates can allow as many as 3 million more mortgage-ready consumers to qualify and afford a $400,000 loan, which is the median home price.”
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.09% as of Feb. 2, down from 6.13% last week. The rate averaged 3.55% at the same point last year.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.14%, down from 5.17% last week. The rate averaged 2.77% at the same point last year.
Freddie Mac’s PMMS is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20% down and have excellent credit.
George Ratiu, manager of economic research at Realtor.com, said the 30-year fixed rate has been falling since mid-November of last year, following the trajectory of the 10-year Treasury.
“With inflation pressures easing, mortgage originators have followed suit, lowering the cost of borrowing,” Ratiu said. “At the same time, the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening is pushing short-term borrowing costs higher. With the Fed’s policy rate underpinning the prime rate, a host of credit products are seeing higher rates, including credit cards, auto loans, and adjustable-rate mortgages.”
“In effect,” he continued, “the Fed’s actions are keeping a floor under mortgage rates for the short term. I expect rates to stay around 6% for the next few weeks.”
For housing markets, he added, lower rates have eased the financial burden on homebuyers.
“In addition, January’s housing market data showed a growing number of homes for sale, properties lingering longer on the market, and prices down 11% from their 2022 peak,” Ratiu said. “For today’s buyer of a median-priced home, the down payment amount is lower than it would have been last summer. While that is positive news, affordability remains a primary challenge, especially for first-time buyers.”