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January's Mortgage Rate Dip Prompts Some Thawing of the Housing Market

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Market Data + Trends

January's Mortgage Rate Dip Prompts Some Thawing of the Housing Market

A drop in mortgage rates from recent peaks nudged more homebuyers and sellers into the market, signaling the start of greater supply and demand

February 23, 2024
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Image: evgenyb / stock.adobe.com

High interest rates for home loans have been one reason why buyers and sellers have been reluctant to enter the housing market, but January saw a downtick in mortgage rates, encouraging more buyers and sellers to enter the market. In January, sales volume for existing homes rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 million, its highest level since August 2023, according to financial content website Investopedia reporting on data from the National Association of Realtors.

The uptick highlighted how much would-be buyers and sellers have been waiting for lower interest rates. The contracts for those sales were likely signed one or two months earlier, at a time when the average rate offered for a 30-year mortgage was sliding down from its recent peak of nearly 8%, its highest in more than 20 years according to Freddie Mac.[2The average rate was 6.77% last week.

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