Americans flocked to line up financing for home purchases as rates for home loans remained favorable, suggesting the recent housing downturn may be easing.
Mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac said Thursday The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in the January 1
Those rates do not include mortgage mortgage loans.
Even as mortgage rates have declined or remained steady over the past few months, Americans have applied for mortgage loans. Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. All share mortgage applications for refis were at a one-year high.
Other signs have also been pointed to steady, if less frenzied, demand from home shoppers. Home builder Lennar Corp.
said earlier in January that had brought "increased folks willing to buy." And anecdotal evidence from around the country suggests some buyers were holding their breath until after the midterm elections.
See: The new housing play: helping priced-out renters become long-distance landlords
Fixed-rate mortgages – which made up 91% of all applications in the most recent week – track the 10-year Treasury yield
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which has benefited from more of the signals from the Federal Reserve and the stock market sell-off.
As Sam Khater, Freddie's chief economist, put it, "interest rate-sensitive sectors of the economy, such as consumer mortgage demand and homebuilder construction sentiment, are on the agenda, which indicates that lower interest rates are beginning to have. positive impact on some segments of the economy. ”
The big question now is what kind of spring selling season would-be buyers will face. Will increased rental supply make buyers less frantic to find a home than in past years? Will more current homeowners be willing and able to list their homes for sale?
Read: Americans say they have the best income since 2010, but will that help housing?