Homeownership is more affordable this week, thanks to falling mortgage rates. Fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.41 percent during the second week of February 2019.
Freddie Mac says the decline represents a 10-month low for 30-year fixed rate mortgages. In spite of signs of an overall sluggish economy, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater is optimistic, pointing out that buyers have more bargaining power than in recent years. Homeownership rates declined in 2018 and some analysts expect the market to pick back up in 2019.
“The U.S. economy remains on solid ground, inflation is contained and the threat of higher short-term rates is fading from view, which has allowed mortgage rates to drift down to their lowest level in 10 months. This is great news for consumers who will be looking for homes during the upcoming spring homebuying season,” Khater emphasized.
Typically, falling mortgage rates are bad news for global markets. But, with the spring homebuying season just around the corner, relaxed rates are good news for homebuyers.
15-year fixed rate mortgages also saw a slight decline, down to 3.84%.
Freddie Mac says it expects 30-year loan rates to remain somewhat steady and reach a ceiling of 4.7%. In November 2017, 30-year mortgage rates peaked at a 7 ½ year high of 4.94%.