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.
“I think there is latent demand on the sidelines given where rates are today,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The problem is that volatility is the obstacle.”
Rising rates choked off a boom in refinancings and damped the purchase market for much of 2018, slowing the pace of home-price growth. The rate on a standard 30-year mortgage tends to closely follow the 10-year Treasury yield, which also hit a seven-year high of 3.23% last fall. On Friday, it finished at 2.66%.
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.
ACT NOW BEFORE RATES GO UP AGAIN!!!!!