The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged from the prior week, staying at 3.33% for the week ending on April 9, according to Freddie Mac.
“While mortgage rates remained flat over the last week, there is room for rates to move down,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “This year the 10-year Treasury market has declined by over a full percentage point, yet mortgage rates have only declined by one-third of a point. As financial markets continue to heal, we expect mortgage rates will drift lower in the second half of 2020.”
Freddie Mac states the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage last year was 4.12%.
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, said the lack of movement in mortgage rates can be attributed to competing market dynamics as lenders try to adapt to “new socially distant ways of doing business.”
“Typically, the fact that rates are lower than one year ago would be a nice boost for buyers, but the normal rules don't apply in this year's market,” Hale said.
Hale added that recent increases in jobless claims have caused homebuyer and seller confidence to drop and that “further deterioration” in sentiment and home sales is likely.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced unemployment claims for the week ending on April 4 was 6.6 million—a small decline from the prior weeks’ 6.8 million.
“For buyers who aren't deterred, getting in touch with a lender may require some persistence,” Hale said. “Also, it may be more important than ever to shop around for the best rates, but be sure to do so in a short period of time so that you're comparing apples to apple rates, as much as possible.”
Additionally, Ginnie Mae announced the issuance of its mortgage-backed securities (MBS) totaled $55.21 billion in March and provides financing for more than 211,000 homeowners and renters.
The total outstanding principal balance for Ginnie Mae loans was $2.14 trillion—an increase from March 2019’s $2.05 trillion.
“The Ginnie Mae MBS program is working for America’s families, facilitating an average of $55 billion in mortgage capital in each of the past eight months,” said Ginnie Mae Principal EVP Seth Appleton. “That consistency is an illustration of the reliability of our technology infrastructure, especially now as our staff and that of many of our business partners rely on remote connectivity to keep money flowing to our nation’s mortgage borrowers.”