• Cindy Chavez

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady as Housing Market Stresses Mount

Updated: Dec 19, 2018

Rates for home loans took a breather after churning to the highest in nearly eight years, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.94% in the Nov.15 week, unchanged during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.36%, up three basis points. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.14%, also unchanged.

Fixed-rate mortgages move in line with the U.S. 10-year Treasury note, although with a slight delay.

Investors have snatched up bonds as concerns about the Chinese economy and geopolitics have prompted a stock sell-off. Bond yields fall as prices rise, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, a sense of stagnation keeps creeping into the many corners of the housing market. Fewer people expect they’ll be able to become homeowners in the coming months, according to a National Association of Home Builders survey. Americans are staying in their homes for the longest stretches ever, an analysis out last month found.

And in a report out Wednesday, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University examined the financial state of older Americans. The share of households aged 50-64 with less than $20,000 in wealth stood at 22% in 2017, a big jump from 15% in 2001.