Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, May 23, 2024

Facts: The 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac averaged 6.94% over the last week. At this rate, with 20% down, a mortgage payment on the median-priced $433,500 new home is $2,293, and $407,600 on an existing home is $2,156.

Positive: Mortgage rates eased and are now below 7%. This helps buyer affordability; even at higher rates, first-time buyers rose last month. Sellers still have a favorable market with an average of 3.2 offers and 27% of homes selling above list price.

Negative: Rates and housing affordability are the killjoys of the spring market. New and existing home sales are both down. Is this a housing market only for the wealthy? 28% of buyers last month paid with cash and did not care about mortgage rates, and the largest annual growth in existing-home sales was over $1 million.