U.S. mortgage rates fell this week

U.S. mortgage rates reversed course this week, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed mortgage averaged 3.95 percent for the week ending Jan. 4, down from 3.99 percent the previous week. A year ago, mortgage rates stood at 4.2 percent.

Favorable mortgage rates have helped drive U.S. home sales, as well as the refinance market.

“Treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates down to start the year,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 4 basis points from a week ago to 3.95 percent in the year’s first survey. Despite increases in short-term interest rates, long-term interest rates remain subdued. The 30-year mortgage rate is down a quarter of a percentage point from where it was a year ago and the spread between the 30-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is the lowest since 2009.

Historically low rates also have aided Miami Valley home sales. After setting records in 2017, Dayton-area home sales remain vibrant this year.

Most recently, area home sales rose 1 percent in November, and the average sale price rose 5 percent, according to the Dayton Area Board of Realtors.

The historic low for 30-year rates was 3.31 percent in November 2012.