Keep up with current rates and news at HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center. Rates are updated twice weekly based on data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).
Note: Freddie Mac’s PMMS only covers purchase mortgages. In addition, the PMMS looks at mortgage rates from the first three days of the week from lender websites, while the MBA survey covers the rates on apps collected over the prior full week.
The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage managed another dip last week, falling two basis points to 2.94%. Since the most recent peak in April, mortgage rates have declined nearly a quarter of a percent and have remained under 3% for the past month.
Despites last week’s rates mirroring closer to what was seen in February, Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist isn’t convinced they will last.
“The low mortgage rate environment has been a boon to the housing market but may not last long as consumer inflation has accelerated at its fastest pace in more than twelve years and may lead to higher mortgage rates in the
summer,” Khater said.
A Wednesday research note from Freddie Mac’s economic and housing research group found that nearly 40% of all surveyed households could save at least $100 per month from refinancing at today’s mortgage rates ― this percentage is nearly 50% for Black and Hispanic borrowers and 38% for White borrowers. Moreover, nearly 15% of all borrowers could save at least $200 per month from refinancing, and this percentage is nearly 20% for Black and Hispanic borrowers and 13% for White borrowers.
After weeks of decreases, mortgage applications rose 2.1% for the week ending May 7, 2021, according to the most recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“The decline in rates helped the refinance index reach its highest level in eight weeks, driven by a 4% increase in conventional refinances,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Additionally, refinance loan balances increased for the fourth straight week, an indication that higher-balance borrowers acted to take quick advantage of lower rates.”
Kan added that the first week of May was strong for the purchase market, with applications up 13% from a year ago. That’s also around the time the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading throughout the country, he noted.
“Most markets this spring continue to see robust demand, but activity continues to be constrained by insufficient inventory levels, as well as homebuilder challenges related to the ongoing shortages and price increases for building materials,” he said.
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