Fewer fluctuations in borrowing costs may give potential home buyers more confidence to jump back into the housing market this spring.

For eight consecutive weeks, mortgage rates have held mostly steady in the mid-6% range. This week was no different, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate clocking in at 6.64%, according to Freddie Mac. After facing a surge in mortgage rates late last fall, aspiring home buyers are now better able to budget for their home purchase with fewer surprises.

With mortgage rates mostly remaining steady after eclipsing 7% last year, home buyers are now showing signs of returning to the homebuying market. Pending home sales, a forward-looking indicator of homebuying activity, saw an 8.3% month-over-month uptick in December and were up from a year earlier, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. New-home sales also showed an 8% increase in December.

“While the stability in the mortgage market is welcome news to home buyers, affordability and limited inventory are concerns for the coming spring in some areas,” says NAR Deputy Chief Economist Jessica Lautz. Home prices increased in more than 85% of U.S. cities in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to NAR data. That particularly hurts first-time buyers, many of whom are struggling to afford homeownership, Lautz adds.

The median price for an existing single-family home reached $391,700 in the fourth quarter of last year, which translates to a $2,010 monthly mortgage payment—assuming a 20% down payment—at current rates, Lautz says.

“For those first-time buyers who were successful in the last year, some were creative: moving in with family to save, making financial sacrifices, looking to partner with roommates to purchase, looking to lower down payment options and finding older homes with potential for appreciation,” Lautz says.

Here are the national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 8:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.64%, up slightly from 6.63% last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 6.12%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.90%, falling from last week’s 5.94% average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 5.25%.