Mortgage Rates Fall, Offering Potential Boost to Housing Market

Wall Street Journal writers¬†Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto reported last week that, “Mortgage rates have fallen to around their lowest levels in eight months, offering a potential boost to the housing market after a rough patch in recent months.

“The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.51%, matching the lowest level since last spring, according to data released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. That rate is still higher than its level of 3.95% from a year ago but has fallen from a more-than-seven-year high of nearly 5% last fall.

“The decline stands to give consumers another shot at obtaining low rates on loans to purchase or refinance their homes, if they can stomach volatile financial markets and still lofty home values.”

“Falling Mortgage Rates Raise Hopes for Battered Housing Market,” by Ben Eisen and Laura Kusisto. The Wall Street Journal (January 7, 2019).

The Journal writers pointed out that, “Stock-market swings, high home prices and a traditionally slow time of year for home buying have largely kept a lid on housing-market activity in recent months. Mortgage applications slid 9.8% in the week ended Dec. 28 from two weeks earlier, according to a survey released Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The shutdown of the federal government also factored into the drop, according the group.

“Yet as rates have steadily fallen, some agents said they have seen buyers start to creep back into the market.”

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