Mortgage rates slide lower, but Americans are still concerned over home affordability

The majority of Americans continue to remain concerned over the affordability of homeownership, according to a new study from Freddie Mac, despite mortgage rates falling to their lowest level in years.

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In the past two years, 44 percent of renters and 35 percent of homeowners say they have experienced difficulty paying their monthly housing costs.

Just over 50 percent of Americans were forced to make spending adjustments to afford the payments, while 82 percent of renters say it is more affordable than owning a property, the government-sponsored entity found after surveying 4,000 households.

Meanwhile, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.73 percent this week, the lowest level since November 2016 and a decline from 4.55 percent a year ago.

“The drop in mortgage rates over the last two months is already being felt in the housing market,” chief economist Sam Khater said in a statement. “In the near-term, we expect the housing market to continue to improve from both a sales and price perspective.”

Freddie Mac previously estimated that mortgage and refinance originations would rise 20 percent in 2019 compared to last year, while house prices are expected to increase by 3.6 percent.

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The Federal Reserve is also widely expected to lower interest rates in the coming months, which could further incentivize Americans to purchase a home.