Holiday Gift for Home Buyers: Big Drop in Mortgage Rates

House on a pile of cash

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage posted a big drop this week, falling to a 3.05% average, Freddie Mac reports.

“The market volatility resulting from the COVID-19 omicron variant is causing mortgage rates to decrease,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “As the year comes to a close, the housing market is proceeding steadily. However, rates are expected to increase in 2022 which will impact home buyer demand as well as refinance activity.”

National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will average 3.7% by the end of 2022.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.05%, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 3.12% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.66%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.30%, with an average 0.7 point, down from last year when it averaged 2.34%. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.19%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.37%, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.45% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.79%.

Freddie Mac reports commitment rates along with average rates to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.