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Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Decline

Sep 9, 2019 7:40:31 AM

Average U.S. mortgage interest rates declined 9 basis points to the lowest level in nearly three years for the week ending September 5, 2019, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Massachusetts homebuyers with their dogThe 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan averaged 3.49 percent, with an average 0.5 point, from 3.58 the previous week. A year ago, the 30-year note averaged 4.54 percent. The average 30-year mortgage loan interest rate has remained below 4 percent for 15 consecutive weeks.

“Mortgage rates continued the summer swoon due to weaker economic data,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “While economic growth is clearly slowing due to rising manufacturing and trade headwinds, economic fundamentals are still solid for U.S. consumers. The unemployment rate is low, housing affordability is improving [nationally], homebuyer demand is rising, and home price growth is stable.”

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan averaged 3 percent, with an average 0.6 point, compared to 3.06 percent the prior week and 3.99 percent the previous year.

The five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.30 percent, with an average 0.4 point, down from the week before when it averaged 3.31 percent. The five-year ARM averaged 3.93 percent during the same week last year.

While average U.S. mortgage interest rates remain below 4 percent, the cost of a single-family home in Massachusetts keeps rising. The median price of a single-family home increased 3.5 percent in July to $439,900 compared to $424,900 in July 2018, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors (MAR) reported August 28, 2019.

A lack of real estate inventory has contributed to rising home prices. The number of single-family homes on the market dropped 15.9 percent in July to 13,783 houses available statewide compared to 16,385 in July 2018. The number of months supply of inventory plunged 17.1 percent to 2.9 months in July compared to 3.5 months in July 2018. Single-family housing stock declined for the 89th time in the last 90 months on a year-over-year basis. About six months of inventory is considered a balanced market between home buyers and home sellers.

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