Mortgage rates continued to decline this week, dropping an average 3 basis points to their lowest point since late September, with mixed messages coming from members of the Federal Reserve board regarding inflation.
The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.58% for the week ended November 23, down from 6.61% seven days prior but still well above the 3.1% it was at one year ago, the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey found. The survey was released one day early because of Thanksgiving.
“In recent weeks, rates have hit above 7% only to drop by almost half a percentage point,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a press release. “This volatility is making it difficult for potential homebuyers to know when to get into the market, and that is reflected in the latest data which shows existing home sales slowing across all price points.”
Two weeks ago, inflation markers came in lower than expected. Since then, both hawkish and dovish statements have emerged from Fed members on future short-term rate hikes.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was at 3.73% as of 11:30 eastern time on Wednesday morning, after moving up and down over the past week. On Nov. 16 it closed at 3.69%, before moving up to 3.83% on Monday, before trending down again to 3.76% on Tuesday.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell even further than the 30-year, down 8 basis points to an average 5.9% from last week’s 5.98%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.42%.
A methodology change put in place with last week’s survey ended the reporting of adjustable-rate mortgage data.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly application survey for the period ended Nov. 18, had a much larger decline from the prior seven days for the 30-year conforming FRM, down 23 basis points to 6.67% from 6.9%.