Economic gurus got one part of the mortgage forecast for 2019 correct. We’re certainly seeing a volatile year for rates.
What they didn’t see coming: Mortgage rates tumbled in March, the biggest one-week fall in a decade.
Now — instead of seeing mortgage rates edge closer to 5.25% as some had predicted we’d see in 2019 — we’re looking at an average 30-year rate near 4%.
The rate drop comes just in time for the spring home-buying season and will make monthly payments less expensive.
“This drop in rates is going to give the housing market a boost,” said Bill Banfield, executive vice president of capital markets for Quicken Loans.
“It could help to make people come back into the market and consider buying a home.”
Mortgage rates have fallen by a full percentage point since late 2018.
Going back four months or so, most forecasts weren’t expecting mortgage rates to drop as low as 4% for borrowers, Banfield said.
“This is a surprise to a lot of people,” Banfield said.
The average 30-year rate was 4.1% as of late March, the lowest rate since January 2018, according to Bankrate.com data. But rates started to rebound a bit upward in early April. The average 30-year rate went back to 4.29% as of April 3, according to Bankrate.com.
By contrast, the average mortgage rate was 5.1% as recently as mid-November, which was a 7½-year high, according to Bankrate.com. The average was hovering around 4.75% as 2018 drew to a close.
We’re talking about some real money here for home buyers.