Median list prices logged double-digit price growth for the 22nd straight week, as a small number of sellers looked to take advantage of huge buyer demand.
Meanwhile, daily mortgage rates decreased for the first time this week.
Today's Mortgage Rates
The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.168% on Wednesday — down from 3.284% a day earlier.
|Mortgage Rate Chart|
|Loan type||Average Rate|
|30-Year Fixed Loan||3.168%|
|15-Year Fixed Loan||2.38%|
|30-Year FHA Loan||2.999%|
|30-Year VA Loan||3.095%|
|30-Year Jumbo Loan||3.845%|
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 13, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 700
Money's daily mortgage rates show the average rate offered by over 8,000 lenders across the United States the previous day. They reflect what a typical borrower with a 700 credit score might expect to pay for a home loan right now. The rates assume a 20% down payment and include discount points.
Freddie Mac's benchmark Primary Mortgage Market Survey put mortgage rates at 2.79% with 0.7 points paid for the week ending January 14. That's a significant jump of 0.14 percentage points compared to last week's new all-time low of 2.65%. Rates set record lows 16 times in 2020. The mortgage purchaser's weekly survey reflects borrowers who put 20% down on conforming loans and have excellent credit.
How do I get the best mortgage rates?
Mortgage rates vary from state-to-state. On Wednesday, borrowers in Illinois were quoted the lowest mortgage rates — at 3.11%. People looking for mortgages in Nevada saw the highest average rate at 3.261%.
Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 2.956%, while those with credit of 620 or below were shown rates of 4.26%.
You may be able to negotiate a better interest rate if you shop around or if you have other accounts with the lender. (To get started, take a look at Money's picks for the best mortgage lenders.) Currently, some lenders are hiking up advertised rates to keep demand in check, so you may be offered a lower rate if you reach out directly.
Today's Mortgage Refinance Rates
Money's survey also shows that the offered rate for a 30-year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.258% on Wednesday. In January 2020, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was around 3.8%.
|Mortgage Refinance Rate Chart|
|Loan type||Average Rate|
|30-Year Fixed Loan||3.258%|
|15-Year Fixed Loan||2.642%|
|30-Year FHA Loan||3.465%|
|30-Year VA Loan||3.507%|
|30-Year Jumbo Loan||3.705%|
Source: Money | Date: Jan. 13, 2021 | Rates assume a credit score of 740
What else is happening in the housing market today?
After briefly slowing down during the holiday season, homebuyers were back in the hunt during the first week of January. Realtor.com's Weekly Housing Trends report shows that online searches for the week ending January 9 outpaced the same period in 2020.
"Home shoppers may be optimistic that a new year will bring new opportunities," said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com's chief economist. "However, many of the trends we saw in 2020 are continuing into 2021 — demand for homes is strong, while sellers remain on the sidelines."
Buyer demand drove the median listing price by slightly more than 15% year-over-year. It's the 22nd consecutive week of double-digit price growth. At the same time, the pace of sales continued at a healthy clip, with homes selling 10 days faster than the same week last year.
As has been the case throughout 2020, low inventory will remain a major challenge and could eventually put a damper on home sales. New listings were down by 26% from the same week last year, while overall inventory was 41% lower. Hale expects the housing shortage to continue to put upward pressure on home prices.
“Looking ahead, we expect home sales to rise this year while home prices grow, but at a slower pace," said Hale. "We’ll need to see inventory recover for this to occur, making new listings the metric to watch.”
Mortgage Tip of the Week
Buying a home can be daunting. Follow these expert tips to make the process easier.
Brendan Phillips, capital markets analyst at Better.com: