More good news for homebuyers: average mortgage rates fall again
Mortgage rates declined for the third straight week, adding to a brighter outlook for the spring home buying season, according to Freddie Mac.
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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.35% for the week ending Feb. 21, down from last week when it averaged 4.37%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.4%.
"Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend since late last year. Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, the spring home sales market should begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a press release.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 3.78%, down from last week when it averaged 3.81%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85%.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.84% with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.88%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.65%.
"Mortgage rates were roughly flat for the third consecutive week, hovering near their lowest levels in almost a year. Wednesday's release of the minutes from January's FOMC meeting paints a picture of a more muted outlook for interest rates over the next year. All eyes are on a string of Fed speakers over the coming week, when we will also see a slew of housing market data, which was a soft spot in the economy at the end of last year, "said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow.
"However, the January data are unlikely to provide a definitive judgement on the underlying health of the economy. The market signal in January home sales and permits is likely blurred by the partial federal government shutdown and the polar vortex that hit much of the country midmonth."