Freddie Mac reported the benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.45% for the January 13 week, unchanged from the prior two weeks, a somewhat unusual circumstance as mortgage rates tend to fluctuate slightly week-to-week. The month-to-date average is at 4.47%, a level which may inspire some potential home purchasers to commit to buying. The level is a full 40 basis points below the 4.87% of December, enough to make a material difference in a monthly payment.
In the historical context, rates remain low and attractive. However, to buyers entering the housing market for the first time since the recession ended and housing activity began to pick up again the more elevated level may seem to put buying a home out of reach unless they are also seeing sufficient increases in income to make it affordable.
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