Benchmark mortgage rate edges down in U.S. housing market

2020-01-03 11:57

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Mortgage rate decreased slightly in the United States last week, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, said Thursday.

For the week ending Thursday, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) in the United States decreased to 3.72 percent from the previous week's 3.74 percent.

The rate was significantly lower than an average of 4.51 percent during the same period one year ago.

Besides, Freddie Mac noted that the 15-year FRM this week dropped to 3.16 percent from previous week's 3.19 percent. The 15-year FRM was also lower than 3.99 percent for the same period last year.

"The combination of improved economic data and market sentiment has led to stability in mortgage rates, which have hovered around 3.7 percent for nearly the last two months," said Sam Khater, chief economist of Freddie Mac.

"The stability is welcome news after the interest rate turbulence of the last year, which caused a slowdown in the housing market and other interest rate sensitive sectors," said Khater.

"The low mortgage rate environment combined with the red-hot labor market is setting the stage for a continued rise in home sales and home prices," Khater said.

Freddie Mac is a corporation founded by U.S. Congress, aiming at promoting the stability and affordability in the U.S. housing market by purchasing mortgages from banks and other loan makers. The corporation has been conducting weekly surveys on U.S. mortgage rate since April 1971.
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