Freddie Mac reported the benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.45% for the January 17 week, unchanged from the prior week but down from the 4.51% in the January 3 week. Despite the Fed’s hike in short-term rates on December 19, 2018, the monthly rate is now the lowest since 4.47% in May 2018. If nothing else, sluggishness in the housing market is forcing lenders to lower the rate to tempt in potential borrowers in the face of higher home prices and limited supply of affordable units.
In the historical context, rates remain low and attractive, but to buyers entering the housing market for the first time since the recession ended and housing activity began to pick up again, a rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage within reach of 5% seems high.
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