Mortgage rates continue to slowly drift downward with a distinct possibility that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage could dip below 3 percent later this year. On the economic front, incoming data suggest the rebound in economic activity has paused in the last couple of weeks with modest declines in consumer spending and a pullback in purchase activity.
While the rebound in the economy is uneven, one segment that is exhibiting strength is the housing market. Purchase demand activity is up over twenty percent from a year ago, the highest since January 2009. Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to declining inflationary pressures, putting many home buyers in the buying mood. However, it will be difficult to sustain the momentum in demand as unsold inventory was at near record lows coming into the pandemic and it has only dropped since then.
As the economy is slowly rebounding, all signs continue to point to a solid recovery in home sales activity heading into the summer as prospective buyers jump back into the market. Low mortgage rates are a key factor in this recovery. While homebuyer demand is up and has been broad-based across most geographies, supply has been slower to improve. In fact, the gap between supply and demand has widened even further than the large gap that existed prior to the pandemic.
Mortgage rates stayed at or near record lows for the fifth straight week and homeowners are taking advantage with refinance activity remaining high. Although purchase demand declined thirty-five percent year-over-year in mid-April, demand has improved modestly over the last three weeks.
Mortgage rates continue to hover near all-time lows for the third straight week. As a result, refinance activity remains high, but home purchase demand is weak due to economic tightening. While new monthly economic data are driving markets lower this week, they are a lagging indicator and should be priced in already. Real time daily economic activity metrics suggest that the economy will likely not decline much further. Going forward, the key question is no longer the depth of the economic contraction, but the duration.
While mortgage rates remained flat over the last week, there is room for rates to move down. This year the 10-year Treasury market has declined by over a full percentage point, yet mortgage rates have only declined by one-third of a point. As financial markets continue to heal,
As refinance applications continue to surge and lenders work to manage capacity, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up from last week’s all-time low. Mortgage rates remain at extraordinary levels and many homeowners are smartly weighing their options to refinance, potentially saving themselves money.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29 percent this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history. Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased 10 percent last week from one year ago and show no signs of slowing down. Given these strong indicators in rates and sales, as well as recent increases in new construction, it’s clear the housing market continues to be a positive force for the broader economy
Given the recent volatility of the ten-year Treasury yield, it's not surprising that mortgage rates again have dropped. These low rates combined with high consumer confidence continue to drive home sales upward, a trend that is likely to endure as we enter spring.
The low mortgage rate environment continues to spur home buying activity, with applications to purchase a home up fifteen percent from a year ago. We’ve seen new residential construction surge over the last few months, on pace to reach the highest level in more than a decade. This is a good sign for the inventory-starved housing market and is a promising indication for the spring home buying season.