30-Year Mortgage Rate Averaged 3.9% in 2019; Here’s the Outlook for 2020

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.9 percent during 2019, the fourth lowest annual average since 1971, according to Freddie Mac, which started its weekly survey nearly five decades ago.

The new year wil continue to see low mortgage rates and an improving economy will be the major driver of a still healthy housing market, Freddie Mac projects.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.74 percent during the week ending Dec. 26. That’s an increase of one basis point from the previous week. Most strikingly, a year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.55 percent.

Mortgage rates mostly keep pace with the 10-year Treasury note, which was strengthened this month by positive economic data that included strong home-building activity and healthy consumer spending.

Said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist: “Heading into 2020, low mortgage rates and the improving economy will be the major drivers of the housing market with steady increases in home sales, construction and home prices.”

Not all is positive, though. “Worsening housing affordability is no longer a coastal phenomenon and is spreading to many interior markets and it is a threat to the continued recovery in housing and the economy,” he adds.

Photo by David McBee