WASHINGTON (AP) – Mortgage rates fell this week, pushing the 30-year benchmark mortgage below 3%. Signs of the economy recovering from the pandemic recession continued.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year average rate fell to 2.95% from 3% last week. At the same time last year, the average long-term rate was 3.15%.
The rate on a 15-year loan, popular among those looking to refinance, fell to 2.27% from 2.29% last week.
With historically low mortgage rates, the US real estate market has grown so overheated that demand exceeds supply that prices continue to hit record highs – and about half of all homes are now selling above. their list price. Two years ago, before the pandemic hit, only a quarter of homes were selling above the asking price of sellers, according to data from real estate broker Redfin.
New data released this week shed further light on the searing nature of the housing market: Prices rose in March at the fastest pace in more than seven years. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller House Price Index in 20 cities jumped 13.3% that month from a year earlier – the biggest gain of its kind since December 2013. That surge in prices made following a 12% year-over-year jump in February.
The pandemic has encouraged more people to seek the additional space provided by a single-family home. Yet at the same time, COVID-19 has discouraged many homeowners from selling and opening their homes to potential buyers, reducing the number of homes for sale.
In the latest positive economic news, the government reported on Thursday that the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits dropped last week to 406,000, a further weak pandemic and further evidence that the labor market is strengthening as the coronavirus is declining and the economy is reopening more widely.