Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates: February 3, 2022

"Mortgage rates remained unchanged from the previous week at 3.55%. Following the trend of the 10-year Treasury yield, rates took a pause from their recent rally. While January's job data will be weak, the market is already prepared to see slower employment growth due to the omicron effect. As a result, rates were relatively flat over the last couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, since mortgage rates are still near historic lows, many people are rushing to benefit from these rates. Nevertheless, not all people have the same opportunities to get a loan.

Denial rates vary significantly by race/ethnic group with Black Americans having the highest denial rates. According to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, the denial rate for Black Americans was 26% compared to 13% for White Americans in 2020. Thus, Black Americans are twice as likely to be denied for a mortgage. Parsing out the data by the purpose of the loan, denial rates for Black Americans were even higher for home purchase loans. Nearly 27% of loan applications for a home purchase were denied compared to 20% which was the denial rate for refinancing. This means that Black Americans face more constraints in their effort to purchase a home, resulting in a lower homeownership rate compared to the other race/ethnic groups."