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On the radar: Freddie Mac mortgage interest rates down again in August 22 data

Freddie Mac reported mortgage interest rates fell again as of the August 22 data.

The 30-year fixed rate was at 3.55%, down 5 basis points from the prior week and the lowest weekly rate since 3.54% in the November 3, 2016 week. For August to-date, the rate averaged 3.58%, the lowest since 3.47% in October 2016.

The 15-year fixed rate was at 3.03%, down 4 basis points from the prior week and the lowest weekly rate since 2.88% in the November 10, 2016 week. For August to-date, the rate averaged 3.05%, the lowest since 3.03% in November 2016.

The 5/1-year ARM rate was at 3.32%, down 3 basis points from the prior week and the lowest since 3.32% in the November 30, 2017 week. For August to-date, the rate averaged 3.34%, the lowest since 3.24% in November 2017.

August tends to be a slower month for home shopping. Families prefer to move before the start of the school year, and immediate demand can be used up. However, even with heightened concerns about the economy, these sorts of rates can bring potential homebuyers into the market to do a little bargain hunting. It is also clear that refinancing is responding to the drop in rates. Some current homeowners are taking the opportunity to improve household budgets with a lower mortgage payment and/or taking a little equity out to invest in other needs or projects. This may help keep consumer spending up in the third quarter 2019 and ensure the economy doesn’t slip into recession — at least for now.

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