Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses mortgage rates.

  • The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage as measured by the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, eased last week to 3.98% from 3.99% a week earlier.
  • The decline was precipitated by a steady decline in the 10-year Treasury over the preceding week from a peak of 2.38% on March 19th.
  • The rate on the 10-year Treasury rose towards the end of last week, likely pushing up on the average 30-year fixed, but it fell sharply Monday in response to Friday’s weaker than expected employment figures.
  • The spread between the two rates has historically hovered around 1.5%, but it increased last year as Treasury rates nose-dived in August.  Investors in MBS will demand higher rates to purchase those investments due to heightened pre-payment risk when rates fall.  As a result, mortgage rates do not follow the Treasury down in a lock-step and the spread opens up.  The spread is back below 2%, but may rise as Treasury rates move toward 2% again.
  • The average 30-year FRM is likely to remain steady or ease slightly this week; refinancing activity may grow in the near term as a result, while affordability for purchases will remain near historic highs.

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.

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Visit this blog daily to see what NAR experts are saying about the economy, the housing market, and other factors that will impact your business.

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