Mortgage Rates Fall for the 3rd Time in the Last 4 Weeks

In a recent development that has caught the attention of potential homebuyers and investors alike, mortgage rates have taken another dip, marking the third decline in the last four weeks. This trend brings a cautious optimism to the housing market, which has been under the scrutiny of fluctuating rates over the past year.

As of March 28th, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 6.79%, experiencing a slight decrease of 8 basis points from the previous week. When compared to the same period last year, where the 30-year fixed rate averaged 6.32%, the current rate shows a noticeable increase, reflecting the volatile nature of the market within the past year.

Similarly, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) has also seen a reduction, now averaging 6.11%. This is down by 10 basis points from last week, making it the lowest level observed since the first week of February. This time last year, the 15-year FRM was at a lower average of 5.56%, underlining the year-over-year escalation in rates despite recent declines.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, commented on the recent trend, noting that the slight improvement in mortgage rates could be a positive sign for potential buyers, as it might offer some relief to their budgets. However, he was quick to point out that the rates remain significantly high, hovering near the seven percent mark. Khater’s analysis suggests that the market’s anticipation for cooling inflation could be a pivotal factor in the potential for further rate reductions.

The focus now shifts to the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data release scheduled for tomorrow, which is expected to have a substantial impact on mortgage rates moving forward. The PCE index is a widely watched inflation gauge, and any significant changes reported could influence future mortgage rate adjustments.

Khater’s statement encapsulates the cautious optimism prevailing in the market: “Rates remain elevated near seven percent as markets watch for signs of cooling inflation, hoping that rates will come down further.” This sentiment reflects the broader economic landscape, where inflationary pressures and market dynamics play critical roles in determining mortgage rates.

As all eyes turn to the upcoming PCE data, potential homebuyers and investors remain hopeful for a continued downward trend in mortgage rates. A favorable report could signal a more significant shift in the market, potentially making homeownership more accessible to a broader range of buyers. However, the unpredictability of economic indicators and their impact on mortgage rates necessitates a watchful approach, emphasizing the importance of staying informed and prepared for possible market shifts.