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Climbing Mortgage Rates Take a Breather

Mortgage rates saw a slight dip over the last week after rising steadily in April according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market survey by Freddie Mac. Data from the survey indicated that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.55 percent declining three basis points from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent.

“The 10-year treasury remained flat along with inflationary pressures in the economy that took a pause in the last week,” Sam Khater, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac, told MReport. “Mortgage rates followed the 10-year treasury yields and saw a slight decline.”

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) also saw a slight decline from 3.74 percent last week to 3.69 percent. However, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased marginally to 4.03 percent from 4.02 percent last week.

Though rates rose steadily in the last month, they haven’t really affected homebuyer sentiment. “Consumer confidence remains very high, demand for purchase credit remains roughly the same as what it was last year in terms of the growth rate. The steady rise in mortgage rates since the beginning of the year has not impacted consumer sentiment or behavior yet,” Khater told MReport.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, this week’s pause in mortgage rates would also give homebuyers something to cheer about. “This pause should give home buyers a little breathing room amid declining inventory and increasing prices,” she said.

Rates haven’t really impacted homebuyer demand either. “While mortgage rates have increased by one-half of a percentage point so far this year, it has not impacted home purchase demand, which continues to grow this spring,” said Khater. “It’s also good news that first-time buyers appear to be having more success so far this year–despite higher borrowing costs and home prices.

Khater said that Freddie Mac’s data through April showed that first-timers represented 46 percent of purchase loans, up from 43 percent over the same period a year ago.

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and editor. A former Online Editor and currently a reporter for MReport, she is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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