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The housing market’s rapid shifts — which have been spurred on by a combination of fluctuating mortgage rates, low levels of inventory, a looming economic recession, and other unique factors, like a slew of recent bank collapses — are continuing to have an oversized impact on the mortgage industry, even as the Fed slows down its interest rate hikes. And while experts had hoped that the spring buying season would be the key to turning things around, so far, the housing market has continued to buck trends at every turn.
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Mortgage rates declined for the third consecutive week in late March, sparking hope for a good homebuyers’ spring season. But while rates have dropped, the housing market continued to be challenged by low inventory levels.
“Over the last several weeks, declining rates have brought borrowers back to the market but, as the spring homebuying season gets underway, low inventory remains a key challenge for prospective buyers,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement.
Altos Research data shows that the weekly inventory fell from 414,278 on March 17 to 413,169 on March 24. “As the prime spring buying season takes off and the best time to sell draws near, buyers will be looking for well-priced, ready-to-move-in homes,” Hannah Jones, Realtor.com’s economic data analyst, said in a statement. “Spring sellers should start getting their home ready for sale, keeping in mind that it took longer than expected to prep.”