Mortgage rates continued a slow but steady decline over the past week, suggesting a small but notable reversal from the meteoric rise they underwent over the past year.
Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates “averaged 6.31 percent as of December 15, 2022, down from last week when it averaged 6.33 percent,” Freddie Mac said in its weekly rate update on Thursday.
Fifteen-year rates, meanwhile, averaged 5.54%, down from 5.67% last week.
Mortgage rates have continually increased for 10 straight weeks, with current 30-year fixed rates hitting their highest point since 2001.
Mortgage rates hit 7.16% for the week ending in Oct. 21 as markets simultaneously saw a 2% decrease in demand for loans, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey. Mortgage rates are predicted to continue climbing as ongoing inflation concerns have left many analysts predicting another hike in interest rates, CNBC reported.
Mortgage rates increased last week, leading to an uptick in the refinance rate.
According to the latest weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage rates increased last week after dropping for two consecutive weeks.
Mortgage applications increased for the first time in over a month after a decrease in mortgage rates last week.
According to a weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications increased by 1.2% from last week, the first increase seen in five weeks.
Mortgage rates surpassed 4% for the first time since 2019 and the Federal Reserve announced a series of new rate hikes this week, two major shifts that mark the economic response to months of elevated inflation.
The Federal Reserve announced a 0.25% interest rate hike and said six more increases are on the way. Last week’s increase is meant to rein in inflation, but can have negative effects on economic growth. Meanwhile, mortgage rates are expected to increase along with the Federal Reserve rate.
When Jeff, a retired marketing consultant from Chicago, was closing on his home sale, he received a new set of instructions at the last minute on where to send several thousand dollars in closing expenses. At first blush, the email looked legit with an official-looking logo and professional language specifying the amount owed and itemized expenses. But one thing caught his eye: The email address looked strange. Just to be safe, he called his mortgage broker.
“Don’t do that!” his broker told him in an alarmed voice. It was a scam. If he hit “send,” his closing fees would go to a thief who had been monitoring his emails. “I was a keystroke away from losing thousands of dollars,” Jeff recalled.
As the housing market sizzles across the country – with nearly 6 million homes bought last year – scammers have been finding new ways to tap into this once-secure market. Real estate transactions still demand reams of paperwork and regulations involving lawyers, brokers, title insurance companies and banks, but the fact that much of this work now takes place online gives thieves countless opportunities to exploit vulnerable buyers. Last year, more than 11,000 homeowners were scammed out of more than $220 million in closing funds alone, according to the American Land and Title Association, a trade group that represents professionals who perform property transactions.
Home prices in the U.S. are more than 41% higher than the previous peak recorded in 2006 during the housing boom that preceded the Great Recession, according to a national index.
Home prices hit a new peak in June, increasing at an annual rate of 18.6%, and 2.2% compared to May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index published Tuesday. The index is 95% higher than it was in 2012 when the housing market bottomed out following the recession.
“June 2021 is the third consecutive month in which the growth rate of housing prices set a record,” S&P DJI Managing Director of Index Investment Strategy Craig Lazzara said in a statement. “The National Composite Index marked its thirteenth consecutive month of accelerating prices.”