Mortgage rates dip below 7%, bring relief to homebuyers

by Liz Hughes

Buyers are finally getting some relief as mortgage rates dip below 7% for the first time in five weeks, according to a new Redfin report

As of May 15, the typical 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.99%, down from a five-month high of 7.52% three weeks earlier, but up from 6.55% this time last year. 

That’s a good sign for a market that saw a 4.3% decline in pending home sales for the past three months compared to 2023. Week over week, pending home sales also declined, which is unusual for this time year of year. 

And it wasn’t just home sales feeling the loss of momentum, as potential sellers continue to stay put. Year over year, new listings rose 10% but remained flat from the previous week, which Redfin noted is not typical for May. 

The report attributes the slump to the sky-high housing costs. 

During the four weeks ended May 12, the median home sale price rose 4.7% from last year to $386,951, marking a new high for the month. 

The median asking price also hit a new high, increasing 6.6% from last year to $418,455.

The steady decline in mortgage rates, along with 6.3% of sellers dropping their prices, is good news for potential homebuyers. 

Marsha McMahon-Jones, a Redfin Premier agent in Palm Springs, California, said high prices and rates are challenging, but there are ways for buyers to take advantage of the somewhat slow market. 

“Sellers know that high mortgage rates mean they should expect negotiations, expect offers to come in under list price, and be ready for some back and forth on things like repairs and closing costs,” she said. “Buyers may not be able to get a lower mortgage rate, but they’re often getting homes for slightly less than the asking price. It’s also a good time to buy a fixer-upper at a lower price point because those aren’t selling as quickly.”

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