The average rate for a 30-year mortgage in the U.S. is 6.13%, according to new figures released by Freddie Mac on Thursday. That's the lowest it's been since the week of Sept 15. 2022.
"Mortgage rates continue to tick down and, as a result, home purchase demand is thawing from the months-long freeze that gripped the housing market," Freddie Mac states. "Potential homebuyers remain sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, but ample demand remains, fueled by first-time homebuyers."
The National Association of Realtors reported that home sales fell in December for the 11th consecutive month. They were down by 1.5% from November, the organization reported. However, year-to-year sales were down 34%. In December 2021, interest rates hovered around 3%.
“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”
The good news for buyers is that there is more inventory on the market. The NAR reports that inventory is up 10% from a year ago.
The median price for a home in December was $366,900, according to the NAR. That's an increase of 2.3% from December 2021.
“Home prices nationwide are still positive, though mildly,” Yun added. “Markets in roughly half of the country are likely to offer potential buyers discounted prices compared to last year.”
Houses are also staying on the market longer. They averaged 26 days in December, an increase of 19 days from the year before.