Mortgage rates sink to another multi-year low

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit another multiyear low this week.

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According to data from Freddie Mac on Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.49 percent for the week that ended on Thursday – the lowest level in nearly three years, since October 2016. It is also down from last week when the average was 3.58 percent, and 4.54 percent one year ago.

“Mortgage rates continued the summer swoon due to weaker economic data,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “While economic growth is clearly slowing due to rising manufacturing and trade headwinds, economic fundamentals are still solid for U.S. consumers. The unemployment rate is low, housing affordability is improving, homebuyer demand is rising, and home price growth is stable.”

While homebuyers are able to borrow for a home purchase at low rates, some have remained reluctant to get in on the market.

New U.S. single-family home sales in July dropped 12.8 percent – the biggest monthly decline since July 2013, according to data from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Part of the problem is a lack of inventory at the lower end of the price spectrum, which has posed challenges for first-time buyers.

The median price of a new home sold in July was $312,800, while the average sales price was $388,000.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China and concerns about growth both at home and abroad have caused experts to project that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates a second time in 2019.