Nov. home prices climb; mortgage rates still slipping

January 22, 2015

WASHINGTON (1/23/15)--House prices edged up by 0.8% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, a slightly quicker rate of appreciation than October's 0.4% increase.

Annually, home prices rose 5.3% in November, though they remain 4.5% below the April 2007 peak.

Broken down by the nine U.S. census divisions, monthly price increases in November ranged from -0.9% (New England) to 1.8% (East South Carolina). Though, each division posted positive annual increases in home-price appreciation in November.

Current mortgage rates, meanwhile, continue to dwindle.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to 3.63% for the week ending Thursday, down from 3.66% the week prior and 4.39% the year prior, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey ( Jan. 22).

The 30-year rate as tracked by Freddie Mac hit its lowest mark since May 2013, when the rate averaged 3.59%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate also dropped, falling to 2.93% from 2.98% for the week, and from 3.44% annually.

"Mortgage rates continued to fall, albeit at a slower pace," said Frank Northaft, Freddie Mac vice president/chief economist (Housingwire). "Housing starts picked up in December coming in at a seasonally adjusted 1.089 million-unit pace and beating market expectations. Meanwhile, the drop in energy prices pushed the producer price index down 0.3% in December and the consumer price index fell 0.4%."

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.83%, compared with 2.9% the prior week and 3.15% the prior year.

Further, the one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage stood pat at 2.37%.