TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The United States’ real estate market is getting more affordable as mortgage rates drop and more housing inventory becomes available. A new report on home prices and mortgage numbers from Redfin, a real estate company, says costs per month are at their lowest since September.
Redfin said that as of Thursday, mortgage rates were their lowest since mid-September, putting a monthly budget of $2,500 firmly in the affordability category for homebuyers.
“A homebuyer on a $2,500 monthly budget can afford a $400,000 home for the first time in four months as mortgage rates dip below 6%,” Redfin reported. “The average daily mortgage rate came in at 5.99% on February 2, the first sub-6% average since mid-September, according to Mortgage News Daily.“
The rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.99% on average, according to Mortgage News Daily. However, federally-backed mortgage company Freddie Mac reported a slightly higher rate of 6.09% in their weekly rate check. That said, both analyses show mortgage rates are at their lowest since the first half of September, when 30-year mortgages were 6.02% according to Freddie Mac on Sept. 15, 2022.
“Mortgage rates inched down again, with the 30-year fixed-rate down nearly a full point from November, when it peaked at just over seven percent,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, said. “According to Freddie Mac research, this one percentage point reduction in rates can allow as many as three million more mortgage-ready consumers to qualify and afford a $400,000 loan, which is the median home price.”
Mortgage News Daily reported a rate of 6.09% on Sept. 5, 2022. The company said rates were responding well to adjustments in rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, and a Wednesday news briefing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
He announced lower rate hikes going forward, but said they may e coming more often. Policy interest rates were increased by 0.25, compared to previous increases of 0.5 and 0.75 during 2022.
Redfin said the lower mortgage rates meant buyers could afford to spend more on a home than when the rates were at their highest in November.
The real estate company’s home price data put Tampa median sales at $375,000 in December, rather than the $410,000 the month before. For the wider Tampa area, the number was slightly lower in the same stretch, at $370,000.