The numbers: Mortgage rates continue to fall, providing relief for future homeowners.
30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.31% as of Dec. 15, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
That's 2 basis points lower than the previous week, with one basis point equal to one-hundredth of a percentage point.
The 30-year-old was at 6.33% last week. Last year, the 30-year average was 3.12%.
Rates are lower than a month ago, when the 30-year average was above 7%.
The average 15-year mortgage rate fell to 5.54%.
"Mortgage rates continued to fall this week as weaker inflation data and modest changes in Federal Reserve monetary policy weighed on the economy," said Sam Cutter, chief economist at Freddie Mac.
The central bank raised its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Wednesday to address continued inflation in the US economy. The Fed has raised interest rates by 75 basis points four times since June.
(The Fed's actions do not directly affect mortgage rates. Instead, 10-year Treasury yields are more closely tied to mortgage rates.)
"The good news for the housing market is that the recent decline in interest rates has led to a stabilization in consumer demand," Hater added. "The bad news is that demand is still very low, despite barriers to accessibility still quite high."
what do they say? Expect rates to continue falling, the industry group said.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said in a statement that it expects "the recent downward trend in mortgage rates to continue."
The MBA also expects the rate on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to decrease next year and end in 2023 at 5.2%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 3.45% in Thursday afternoon's trading session.
Do you have any ideas about the real estate market? Email MarketWatch correspondent Arti Swaminathan at [email protected].