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By Melissa Dittmann Tracey for REALTOR® Magazine

Mortgage rates ticked up slightly this week, but they continue to remain well below their November 2022 peak, which eclipsed 7%. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.12% this week, according to Freddie Mac. Lower rates in the 6% range since the beginning of the year are helping to bring costs down for potential buyers. “Interested home buyers are easing their way back to the market just in time for the spring homebuying season,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Many renters are now paying about the same amount in rent as they would for a monthly mortgage if they owned a $300,000 home, says Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research for the National Association of REALTORS®. Nearly 85% of counties in the U.S. have a median price lower than $300,000, according to NAR data.

Aspiring home buyers may also see further easing in mortgage rates over the next few weeks. “With inflation easing rates, rates will likely resume their downward trek soon,” Evangelou says. Home price growth is slowing down in many markets, too.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 9:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.12%, increasing from last week’s 6.09% average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.69%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.25%, rising from last week’s 5.14% average. A year ago at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.93%.

Earn the Home Finance Resource Certification

With mortgages and mortgage rates at the top of everyone’s mind, the Greater Lehigh Valley Real Estate Academy is offering the Home Finance Resource Certification course through the National Association of REALTORS®. This course will prepare you to address low credit scores, alternative financing options like first-time homebuyer assistance or low down payment programs, how to avoid the most common mortgage sticking points in a transaction, and much more.