Written by Diana Olick and initially published cnbc.com

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to the lowest level since October this week, at 3.69%, according to Mortgage News Daily. That has an already competitive housing market heating up even more.

Open houses, which are usually pretty rare the first week in January, were plentiful in markets across the nation this year, as buyers hope to get in before the competition gets even worse.

Buyer sentiment in the housing market remained high in December, according to a monthly survey from Fannie Mae — the Home Purchase Sentiment Index. In general, Americans said they did not expect mortgage rates to go up, and they expressed increasing confidence in both their household incomes as well as their employment.

“The continued strength in the HPSI attests to the intention among consumers to purchase homes. This is consistent with the Fannie Mae forecast for 2020,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“The HPSI hit and remained near an all-time high in 2019, driven by the 16-percentage point year-over-year increase in the share of consumers believing it is a good time to buy.”

Home prices are also reflecting the increasing demand for housing. Prices nationally rose 3.7% annually in November, a new report from CoreLogic said. That is the largest annual gain since last February.

Read the original and full article here – https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/07/mortgage-rates-fall-further-as-buyers-rush-into-the-first-open-houses.html

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