An upward arrow with a percentage sign above a suburban home
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

Mortgage rates remain steady, but for how long? 

Mortgage rates ticked up slightly this week, but have stayed in a narrow range throughout 2024. Upcoming economic reports could test this period of stability.

April 4, 2024
2 minutes

Key points:

  • Friday’s job’s report and next week’s consumer price index could shed some light on whether the Federal Reserve will start cutting rates in June.
  • While mortgage rates remain elevated, inventory increases and a rise in price reductions could attract some home buyers this spring.
  • Mortgage applications were unchanged this week versus the week before.

Mortgage interest rates continue to remain steady but elevated, giving potential homebuyers some sense of what to expect this spring.

The 30-year fixed rate inched higher this week, averaging 6.82%, according to the latest Freddie Mac survey. That's up from 6.79% a week ago and 6.28% a year ago.

So far in 2024 the rate has hovered between 6.6% and 7%, providing few surprises in the financing markets. That's not expected to change in the coming weeks.

"While incoming economic signals indicate lower rates of inflation, we do not expect rates will decrease meaningfully in the near-term. On the plus side, inventory is improving somewhat, which should help temper home price growth," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

Investors who influence rates have been searching for clues on the likely path for inflation, which has been a mixed bag lately, said Danielle Hale,'s chief economist. Friday's job report and next week's consumer price index could determine where rates go next.

Chen Zhao, Redfin Economic research lead, adds that what those reports indicate will help determine if Federal Reserve rate cuts happen sooner or will be pushed to later this year.

"If the upcoming job and inflation reports show that the economy is heading in the right direction, the Fed is likely to confirm they will cut interest rates in June, which would lower mortgage rates," Zhao said in Redfin's weekly real estate report.

Mortgage applications for home purchases were unchanged this week compared to the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. It's down 13% compared with a year ago, as the elevated rates continue to weigh down home buying, said Joel Kan, MBA's chief economist.

The industry is waiting to see if potential homebuyers respond to the recent rise in price reductions and overall inventory hitting its highest point since 2020.

It appears elevated rates are also on the minds of current homeowners. "Waiting for mortgage rates to decline" was the top reason they were not shopping for another home in March, according to a survey done by John Burns Research & Consulting. 

It's the first time that reason topped "waiting for a life stage change" as a reason in the history of the survey, said Alex Thomas, the company's senior research analyst, in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

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