STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Mortgage rates fall to record low for 14th time in 2020

Record low interest rates have fueled this year's strong rebound and growth in housing markets, but low inventory remains a challenge for home buyers as it pushes prices higher.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 3:23 PM

WASHINGTON, DC - Mortgage rates fell to another record low last week, for the 14th time this year.

The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.71%, according to Freddie Mac. That's the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant's survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.26%.

Despite persistently low mortgage rates, home sales have hit a wall, said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

"While homebuyer appetite remains robust, the scarce inventory has effectively put a limit on how much higher sales can increase," he said. "Unfortunately, the record low supply combined with strong demand means home prices are rapidly escalating and eroding the benefits of the low mortgage rate environment."

Record low interest rates have fueled this year's strong rebound and growth in housing markets, but low inventory remains a challenge for home buyers as it pushes prices higher.

"Low interest rates have helped homeowners refinance and save money, while simultaneously making it easier for first-time buyers to afford a home," said George Raitu, senior economist at Realtor.com. "However, double-digit price gains over the past three months have been chipping away at the benefit that low mortgage rates have brought."

For many Americans today, these low rates do not offer the same monthly savings that they did even six months ago, he said.

"Millions of people are staring at a wall of expiring support programs, such as the pandemic unemployment insurance and eviction protection, which dampen the brightness of the incoming holiday season," said Raitu. "While we see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel with upcoming vaccines, there is still a big question around whether Congress can come to terms on a new stimulus package to help the country recover from the current economic downturn."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2064530

Reported Deaths: 52572
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings27481210223
Queens2720389779
Suffolk1981833362
Nassau1812533156
Bronx1799496492
New York1358374411
Westchester1282362261
Erie871531763
Richmond733551789
Monroe649871057
Orange47491810
Rockland46483952
Onondaga37518668
Dutchess28892442
Albany24246348
Oneida21998503
Niagara19347348
Broome18105355
Saratoga14903165
Ulster13620250
Schenectady12815195
Rensselaer10977139
Putnam1047191
Chautauqua8695140
Chemung7423134
Oswego730490
Ontario721292
Steuben6626143
Sullivan645671
St. Lawrence640596
Cayuga609892
Jefferson574666
Wayne553167
Cattaraugus546085
Genesee5268121
Herkimer5041107
Clinton474433
Madison441188
Fulton424690
Livingston424558
Tompkins418450
Montgomery4130121
Columbia3933101
Cortland367360
Tioga361461
Warren351357
Wyoming344251
Otsego334747
Allegany334384
Chenango334276
Greene328775
Washington301655
Orleans298983
Lewis259034
Franklin249912
Delaware228737
Seneca195956
Schoharie162516
Essex155226
Yates115426
Schuyler102614
Hamilton3042
Unassigned14166
Out of NY0230
Utica
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 46°
Oneonta
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 40°
Herkimer
Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 45°
Old Forge
Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 46°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve