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Mortgage rates continue to rise before the Fed’s meeting 

Mortgage rates inched higher last week ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Markets Committee on Wednesday and the national jobs report on Friday.

HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center showed the average 30-year fixed rate for conventional loans at 7.57% on Tuesday, slightly below the rate on Monday, which was the highest level seen this year. The 30-year rate was up from 7.48% one week earlier. At the same time one year ago, the average was 6.59%.

The 15-year fixed rate averaged 6.77% on Tuesday, up from 6.74% one week earlier.

“The economic data has been solid, GDP growth looks good in Q2, and it’s jobs week,” HousingWire lead analyst Logan Mohtashami said. “The Fed’s employment wage index still shows good wage growth. People are anticipating a more hawkish Fed at tomorrow’s meeting.”

As of April 26, there were 556,000 single-family homes on the market, up 2.4% from the previous week, according to data from Altos Research. About 13,000 additional properties were added to the market during the previous week. Unsold inventory was nearly 32% higher than at this time last year and 90% higher compared to the end of April 2022. 

“The weekly volume of new listings is now higher than at anytime last year,” Mike Simonsen, founder and president of Altos Research, wrote on Monday. “It’s still April, so there could be as many as eight more weeks of seller growth in the spring housing market. And seller growth is happening pretty much everywhere across the country, with Florida and Texas leading the way.”

There are two ways to interpret this rise in inventory, according to Simonsen. The bearish take would be to highlight the fact that there are more sellers than buyers, which could lead to a decline in home prices in the near future. On the more bullish side, more inventory could result in more sales. In addition to a higher number of new listings, there were also more new contracts started this week than in any week in 2023. 

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