30-year interest rate continues downward trend
Freddie Mac reported another small drop in mortgage rates, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now at 6.27% after six weeks of declines.
- While rates for 30-year fixed mortgages dropped, they inched upward for 15-year fixed loans.
- The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage this time a year ago was 3.05%.
Mortgage rates had a mixed week with costs for traditional 30-year loans declining while 15-year mortgage interest rates averaged slightly higher.
Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the most popular loan — 30-year fixed rate mortgages — continued their downward trend, averaging 6.27% on Dec. 22, a small drop from last week's 6.31%.
Rates for long-term mortgages fell for the sixth straight week after reaching 7% in October and early November, the highest average rate in 20 years.
But mortgage rates inched upward for 15-year fixed mortgages, which averaged 5.69%, up from 5.54% last week.
"Rates have declined significantly over the past six weeks, which is helpful for potential homebuyers," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist.
However, Khater noted that data suggests homeowners are not listing their homes because of higher mortgage costs than they carry now.
"Many of those homeowners are carefully weighing their options as more than two-thirds of current homeowners have a fixed mortgage rate of below four percent," Khater said.
Softening mortgage rates are hopeful news for prospective homebuyers, but interest rates are still about double what they were a year ago, when the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 3.05% and a 15-year mortgage averaged 2.30%.
The Mortgage Bankers Association meanwhile reported today that the national median payment on loan applications dropped in November to $1,977 — down from $2,012 the previous month — signaling an improvement in affordability for home buyers.
NAR Senior Economist Nadia Evangelou echoed that assessment in response to today's mortgage numbers, noting that "homeownership has become nearly 10% more affordable in the last six weeks."