Mortgage rates remain under control as housing reform issues hold the spotlight


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For Sale, sign on the lawn of a suburban home.

Housing loan rates have not changed much, close to long-standing lows, leaving some room for potential buyers, even as policymakers are increasingly interested in housing issues.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was an average of 4.35% for the week of February 28, mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac said Thursday. It was unchanged from the previous week and the lowest in a year. The popular product has recorded a weekly increase only once in 2019.

The 15-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 3.77%, down one basis point. The 5-year Hybrid Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage averaged 3.84%, unchanged as well.

These rates do not include the costs associated with obtaining a mortgage loan.

Because fixed rate mortgages follow the 10-year US Treasury note

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In recent months, they have benefited from investors' concerns about global growth and trade. These calculations often encourage the purchase of more assets that are considered safe and bond yields decline as their prices rise.

Lower mortgage rates help the real estate market. Mortgage applications for both purchases and refinances have jumped over the past week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. VA loans jumped 14%, possibly because Congress is currently considering legislation that would pay the benefits for Vietnam war veterans by increasing guarantee fees on new mortgages, as announced by the government. ;last summer.

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There are many other discussions in Washington on housing, too. This week, the Senate Committee on Banks and Banks voted in favor of appointing Mark Calabria to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Freddie's regulator.

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and his counterpart, Fannie Mae

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. As MarketWatch has pointed out in detail, the presence of Calabria will probably help speed up the release of both companies from government control.

And the longstanding issues facing the housing market are also attracting attention. The National Association of Home Builders on Wednesday congratulated Democratic Senator Mike Thompson "for raising concerns … that tariffs on Chinese products would represent a $ 1 billion tax. dollars on housing and would damage the affordability of housing "at a hearing.

At the same time, New Jersey Democrats announced earlier in February that they would introduce a bill to repeal some of the changes to the 2017 tax legislation, such as the ability to deduct state taxes. and local taxes, which have resulted in an increase in the cost of living.

See also: The Republicans of the Blue State have subscribed to the 2017 tax cuts. That may have cost them.

The most promising for big changes in housing may be the fact that at least three Democratic presidential candidates present housing policy proposals. Many sources told MarketWatch that they expect housing problems to play a key role in the 2020 election. For observers who believe that the lack of resolution of the crisis from 2008 led to the end of 2016 – and to anyone whose price depends on the rental or the property – this could be good news.

Lily: Buying a home is no easier, and more and more Americans are likely to give up

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