Mortgage Rates Reach 2024 High—Impacts on Homebuyers and Sellers

Mortgage Rates Reach 2024 High—Impacts on Homebuyers and Sellers

Mortgage rates have surged to a 2024 high, reaching 6.9% for a 30-year fixed home loan. This increase, attributed to a strong economy, poses challenges to housing affordability for buyers. Despite the current setback, there are positive trends in the housing market that may influence the upcoming spring season.
The Mortgage Rates Question:
The average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan has risen from 6.77% to 6.9%, driven by strong economic indicators and inflation data. This shift prompts a reevaluation of monetary policy, impacting mortgage rates. Historically, a vibrant economy coexisting with moderately higher rates didn’t significantly affect the housing market. However, the current scenario, marked by low housing affordability, turns good economic news into a concern for homebuyers.

Inventory Continues to Rise:
Contrary to a previous slowdown, the housing market sees a notable improvement. For the week ending Feb. 17, there was a 10.9% increase in home sellers entering the market compared to the previous year. The active inventory, comprising new and old listings, rose by 15.7%, marking a 17-week upward streak. This surge in listings provides more options for home shoppers, contributing to a potential recovery in active listings.

Home Price Growth Slows:
Median home prices show relative stability, with a 0.2% increase compared to the same week the prior year. Listing price growth has cooled, declining from the previous week. Sellers are adjusting to market expectations, leading to slower price growth and increased listing price reductions. The current trajectory suggests a slow recovery in the housing market, offering more options for buyers.

Countdown to Spring:
Despite high mortgage rates and home prices, homebuyers are displaying increased determination. Houses are being sold four days faster than the same period last year, indicating a strong market demand. As the spring housing market approaches, potential buyers are advised to act promptly to secure deals.
While mortgage rates present challenges, the overall housing market displays signs of resilience and positive trends. The rise in inventory and slowing price growth may provide relief for homebuyers, offering more options and opportunities as the spring market unfolds. Prospective buyers should remain vigilant and act swiftly in navigating the current real estate landscape.

Source: – By Margaret Heidenry

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