Fears Over Delta Variant Drive Mortgage Rates Down

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Mortgage rates plunged this week as home prices reached new record highs. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.78%, Freddie Mac reports. “Concerns about the delta variant and the overall trajectory of the pandemic are undoubtedly affecting economic growth,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While the economy continues to mend, Treasury yields have decreased—and mortgage rates have followed suit.”

But the low rates aren’t helping many home buyers who either can’t find a suitable property amid historically low inventory or can’t afford the high prices of the ones on the market, Khater said. Still, “these declining rates provide yet another opportunity for homeowners to save money on their monthly mortgage payment through a refinance,” he added.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending July 22:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78%, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.88% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.01%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.12%, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.22% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.54%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.49%, with an average 0.4 point, up from last week’s 2.47% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.09%.

Freddie Mac reports average commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront costs of a mortgage.