Mortgage rates rose slightly, but remained close to their all-time low despite disappointing economic news last week.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% for the week ended September 2, one basis point more than the week before, Freddie Mac
Reported Thursday. Mortgage rates are now higher than last year – a year ago the 30-year loan averaged 2.86%.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose one basis point to an average of 2.19% over the past week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid variable rate mortgage decreased by the same amount, averaging 2.42%.
For homebuyers, the mortgage rate waiting loop in recent weeks is welcome given the likelihood of higher rates in the future.
"With inflation a simmering problem, mortgage rates will most likely rise once they start moving," said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. "Mortgage rates stay cheap for home buyers and refinancers, but may not last long."
While mortgage rates have remained stable over the past few weeks, this has not resulted in an increased stream of applications from potential homebuyers. The latest mortgage application data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the volume of home purchase loan applications has decreased significantly in recent weeks.
Buyers have been constrained by the lack of homes for sale on the existing home side of the market, as shown by recent reports on the state of the housing market.
"Housing construction, while likely staying reasonably solid, will not be as scorching hot in the future as it was before, and neither will it slide for as long as it has lately," said Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist at MFR Inc. wrote in a research report on Wednesday.