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Mortgage rates continue to drop as spring brings more inventory: Freddie Mac

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Mortgage interest rates on the 15-year and 30-year mortgages are down from last week, Freddie Mac reported.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased again this week, with declines totaling almost a quarter of a percent in two weeks’ time,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said.

For 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages, the average interest rate was 6.74% this week, a decent drop from last week when rates averaged 6.88%. Rates aren’t down quite as much as last year when they were 6.6%, on average.

Additionally, 15-year mortgages averaged 6.16%, down slightly from last week when they averaged 6.22%. These mortgages also aren’t as low as last year when they averaged 5.9%.

“Despite the recent dip, mortgage rates remain high as the market contends with the pressure of sticky inflation,” Khater said. “In this environment, there is a good possibility that rates will stay higher for a longer period of time.”

If you want to take advantage of lowering interest rates, consider using Credible to help you easily compare interest rates from multiple lenders in minutes.

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Spring likely to bring higher home prices

Warmer weather tends to bring a booming housing market as more homebuyers start looking for homes and inventory grows.

Sellers who list their homes in the spring and summer months often make more money when their home sells because the market is more competitive. A Zillow study found that June was the most profitable month for sellers. Homes listed in the first half of June sold for 2.3% more, on average, putting about $7,700 more in the pocket of sellers.

Location matters when it comes to selling power. In San Francisco, the best time to list is the second half of February, but the first half of July is the best time to sell in New York and Philadelphia.

Certain locations also boast even higher profits during warmer months. During the hottest time of the year, homes in San Jose sold for 5.5% more, boosting profits by $88,000 on an average home, according to Zillow. However, homes in San Antonio sold for just 1.9% more during the same time frame.

“Most sellers don’t have the luxury of timing the market,” Zillow Chief Economist Skylar Olsen said. “The best time to list is when it makes the most sense for their lives.” 

“Regardless of the month, sellers who list their home for sale this spring can expect plenty of interest if their home is marketed and priced right.,” she contined. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to hire a real estate agent with the experience to localize your strategy when comparable sales might be further afield.”

If you’re looking to compete with other buyers this spring, you can explore your mortgage options by visiting Credible to compare rates and lenders and get a mortgage preapproval letter in minutes.

HOMEBUYERS GAINED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AS MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES FALL: REDFIN

To afford homes, buyers need higher incomes than they did a few years ago

Buyers are facing a tougher market than they did a few years ago. To comfortably afford a home, buyers need to make more than $106,000 annually, another Zillow study showed. This income requirement is 80% higher than in 2020.

Monthly mortgage payments are higher than ever and have doubled since 2020. Payments average $2,188, assuming the buyer puts 10% down. With such high prices, affordability has become a major issue. In 2020, households earning $59,000 annually could afford the median-priced home without spending more than 30% of their income.

The $106,000 income needed today is well above the average household income in the U.S. The average household earns about $81,000.

Some areas are more affordable than others and require a much lower income to afford the average-priced home. Pittsburgh buyers need to earn just $58,232 to afford the average home. Memphis residents need $69,976 and Cleveland residents need $70,810.

Costlier cities like San Jose and San Francisco require much more in annual income to afford a home. San Jose requires an average annual income of $454,296 while San Francisco requires $339,864, according to Zillow.

To see if you qualify for a mortgage based on your current credit score and salary, consider using Credible, where you can compare multiple mortgage lenders at once.

15% OF AMERICANS HAVE CO-PURCHASED A HOME WITH A NON-ROMANTIC PARTNER, EVEN MORE WOULD CONSIDER IT

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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