Average U.S. mortgage interest rates have declined for three consecutive weeks, and interest rates were lower than the same week last year, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 30-year, fixed rate mortgage loan averaged 4.35 percent, with an average 0.5 point, for the week ending February 21, 2019, compared to 4.37 percent the previous week. A year ago, the 30-year note averaged 4.40 percent.
“Mortgage rates fell ... continuing the general downward trend that began late last year," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said. "Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available [nationwide], spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”
In Massachusetts, real estate inventory remains tight, particularly in Boston and surrounding communities; however, many real estate professionals believe the Boston area real estate market is not as one-sided in favor of home sellers as it was a year ago.
The lack of real estate inventory has pushed prices higher over the past six years, making affordability, especially for Massachusetts first-time homebuyers, an issue. Home price growth seems to be slowing, but the upcoming Spring market will likely bring more price and inventory clarity.
The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan averaged 3.78 percent, with an average 0.4 point, down from 3.81 percent the previous week and 3.85 percent the previous year.
The five-year, adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.84 percent, with an average 0.3 point. The previous week the five-year ARM averaged 3.88 percent, and it averaged 3.65 percent during the same week in 2018.
Mortgage interest rates have declined significantly since the Fall of 2018. The average 30-year loan for the week ending October 11, 2018, averaged 4.90 percent or more than one-half percent higher than current interest rate for the 30-year note. The 15-year note average 4.29 percent during that same week in 2018.