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Published: Jul 28, 2020 5 min read

Home prices posted gains during the month of May thanks to near record low interest rates and limited housing supply. Meanwhile, the number of mortgage loans in forbearance continued on a slow decline last week.

Home prices rose 4.5% year-over-year during the month of May, according to data from the S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Index, a leading measure of home prices in the U.S. Phoenix posted a 9% increase, leading the way in home prices for the 12th consecutive month, followed by Seattle with a 6.8% price increase and Tampa at 6%.

"May's housing prices were stable. In contrast with the past eight months, May's gains were less than April's," said Craig Z. Lazzara, head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. "Although prices increased in May, in other words, they did so at a decelerating rate." In April, prices rose at an annual rate of 4.6%.

"More data will obviously be required in order to know whether May's report represents a reversal of the previous path of accelerating prices or merely a slight deviation from an otherwise intact trend. Even if prices continue to decelerate, that is quite different from an environment in which prices actually decline," added Lazzara

As for homeowners navigating the recent uncertainty over a sustainable economic recovery, the share of mortgage loans in forbearance decreased, for the sixth straight week, dropping 6 basis points to 7.74% for the week ending July 19, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

"The share of loans in forbearance declined by a smaller amount than in previous weeks, as the pace of borrowers exiting forbearance slowed," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist. "Although the [government-sponsored enterprise] portfolio of loans in forbearance should continue to improve, Ginnie Mae's portfolio saw an uptick of both loans in forbearance and borrowers requesting forbearance. The high level of unemployment claims in recent weeks may be playing a role, as weakness would likely impact Ginnie Mae's portfolio first."

What are people paying for mortgages right now?

Borrowers with 700 credit scores were charged an average of 3.725% to secure a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage on Monday, according to Money's survey of over 8,000 mortgage lenders across the country. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.528%.

What are experts saying about home prices?

Jeffrey Taylor, co-founder and managing director of Digital Risk, a mortgage technology company, recently told Money:

For more expert home price prediction, read: How Low Will They Go? 6 Mortgage Experts Predict the Future of Rates

What else should house hunters be watching this week?

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve policy makers will end their two-day meeting. While no major changes in Fed policy are expected to be announced, it is expected that the central bank will outline additional steps it could take in support of an economy that is faltering due to the rise in virus hotspots around the country. In June, the committee members indicated they anticipate keeping short term interest rates, which indirectly influence mortgage rates, near zero until 2022.

What are today’s advertised rates?

Of course, mortgage rates vary widely by location and personal factors like location, the size of your down payment and your credit score. Here are today’s advertised mortgage rates at some of the mortgage industry’s largest lenders. (All rates are APRs. The rates you see may be different.)

JP Morgan Chase

Based in New York, JP Morgan Chase has nearly 5,000 U.S. branches.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 28:

30-year fixed: 2.961%

15-year-fixed: 2.533%

5-year ARM: 2.698%

(Rates based on New York City zip code 10006.)

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Quicken, a non-bank lender based in Detroit, is the nation’s largest mortgage lender by dollar origination volume.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 28:

30-year fixed: 3.236%

15-year-fixed: 2.942%

(Quicken doesn’t advertise a five-year adjustable rate.)

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Wells Fargo

Based in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has more than 7,000 locations.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 28:

30-year fixed: 3.123%

15-year-fixed: 2.937%

5-year ARM: 2.851%

Bottom Line:

How Long Will Home Prices Continue to Rise? 8 Experts Weigh In

Don't Have 20% for a Down Payment? Here's How to Buy a Home With Less

How Low Will They Go? 6 Mortgage Experts Predict the Future of Rates

Rates are subject to change. All information provided here is accurate as of the publish date.