Since the turnover to 2016, global stock markets have been suffering, and this is why the bond market has rallied. The bond market is typically the place for investors to seek safe haven. As a result of this activity in the markets since the new year, 10 year U.S. Treasury yields have dropped, and mortgage rates have unsurprisingly followed closely behind.
After these changes, some industry experts speculate that the Federal Reserve might hesitate before increasing interest rates any more, at least in the short term. Part of the speculation behind this has to do with increasing indications that the U.S. economy may be in a shaky situation. Before taking further action, the Fed might wait to see indicators improve.
The weekly rates released by Freddie Mac show that the 30 year fixed mortgage rate is at an average of 3.81% for the third week of January. For this same time period last year, the rate was an average of 3.63%.
15 year rates have an average of 3.10%, compared with 2.93% a year ago. Finally, a 5-year adjustable rate mortgage rate has an average of 2.91%, although the same ARM averaged 2.83% one year ago.
The 30 year rate reflected a lot of market turbulence amidst very weak inflation that was the case for all of 2015. The drop of 11 basis points in this particular rate shows the lowest rate in the last three months. Purchase applications, too, were down, decreasing by 2%. That being said, home purchase mortgage applications were up significantly over the same period when compared with last year, with an increase of 17%.
Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development point out, though, that housing starts and completions and permits were also down in December. Although housing starts were up by more than 6% when compared with December 2014, the other data decreased by 2.5%.
Representatives from that agency believe that there is good news ahead for the housing industry in 2016 despite these less-than-optimal data points.