The latest shift in the mortgage landscape has taken a dramatic turn, as the average rate for a 30-year mortgage tumbled to 7.40% on Tuesday, as reported by Mortgage News Daily. This significant decline is a direct response to Wall Street’s revised expectations for future Federal Reserve rate hikes.
This decrease in mortgage rates was sparked by a robust rally in the bond market, triggered by the government’s monthly inflation report, which reported lower figures than anticipated by analysts. As a result, bond yields dipped, leading to a corresponding fall in mortgage rates, which typically align with the yield on the 10-year Treasury.
Prior to this development, mortgage rates were already on a downward trajectory from their recent peaks. Factors contributing to this trend included the Federal Reserve’s decision to maintain steady rates at its last meeting and a monthly employment report that fell short of expectations, signaling a potential halt to interest rate hikes.
On October 19, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate had soared past 8%, reaching a peak unseen in over two decades. However, it experienced a substantial reduction of over 25 basis points in early November, dropping to 7.38%. After a slight increase last week, rates commenced this week at 7.58%.
Matthew Graham, COO at Mortgage News Daily, remarked on the bond market’s remarkable response to the latest inflation data, emphasizing the efficiency of mortgage lenders in adapting to market fluctuations. He noted that mortgage rates typically rise rapidly but decrease gradually.
The recent spikes in mortgage rates, though limited to 1 percentage point, are stark in comparison to the record lows of around 3% seen two years ago. This disparity has heightened sensitivity among today’s homebuyers, with some finding themselves priced out of the market or unable to secure mortgages. Consequently, home sales have been in decline for several months, with some experts describing the market as virtually stagnant even before the winter season.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, anticipates an end to interest rate rises, with potential rate cuts on the horizon. He predicts that mortgage rates could fall towards 7% in the coming months and possibly into the 6% range by spring 2024, reflecting the bond market’s expectations of interest rate cuts by the Fed next year.