“As the market reacts to a new administration in Washington and COVID-19-driven economic malaise, mortgage rates continued to decrease this week,” says Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
Mortgage rates headed back down this week, continuing to hover near all-time lows. “As the market reacts to a new administration in Washington and COVID-19-driven economic malaise, mortgage rates continued to decrease this week, just slightly,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
Also, the Federal Reserve announced this week that it will leave both interest rates and its bond-buying program unchanged, both actions likely helping to keep mortgage rates low.
The low rates continue to attract home buyers. Home sales in 2020 rose to the highest level in 14 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. Demand is surging for a shrinking number of homes for sale.
“Even as house prices increase at the fastest rate we’ve seen in years, competition to buy is strong given the low inventory that exists across the country,” Khater said. “The fact that there are not enough homes to meet demand is going to be an ongoing issue for the foreseeable future.”
NAR is forecasting existing-home sales to rise more than 10% in 2021.
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 28:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.73%, with an average 0.7 point, falling from last week’s 2.77% average. The lowest on record for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was 2.65%, recorded earlier this January. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.51%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.20%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.21% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.80%, with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.24%.
Freddie Mac reports average commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.
Source: Freddie Mac and “Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, January 28, 2021,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Jan. 28, 2021)