Low Mortgage Rates Keep Housing Affordability High

Mortgage rates continued to be near record lows this week, keeping housing at affordable levels for most households.

“Thirty-year fixed-rate loans have declined 0.62 percentage points from a year ago, and median sales prices on existing homes are off 4.7 percent in the year ending with October,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “These low rates and home prices have pushed housing affordability to record highs this year.”

Monthly principal and mortgage interest payments accounted for 12.6 percent of a median family incomes in October, Nothaft notes. For the sixth time this year, the National Housing Affordability Index reached another all-time record high, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Here’s a closer look at mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 8.

•30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.99 percent, with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s 4 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.61 percent.
•15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.27 percent, with an average 0.8 point, just slightly above the all-time low of 3.26 percent it reached on Oct. 6. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.96 percent.
•5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.93 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, ticking up slightly from last week’s 2.90 percent average. Last year at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.60 percent.
•1-year ARMs: averaged 2.80 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, edging up slightly from 2.78 percent last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.27 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

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