Mortgage and real estate news this week: Another rate dip and a housing affordability update

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Cooler temps may be on the horizon, but the housing market shows little sign of shedding any of its heat. Mortgage rates remain low and home prices remain high. Here’s the latest industry news from Bankrate.

1. Mortgage interest creeps lower

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage fell for a second week, averaging 3.04 percent. Market conditions remain favorable, especially for existing homeowners looking to refinance. For buyers, the calculation is a little murkier, with low interest rates boosting borrowing power, but high home prices and limited supply making it more difficult to get to closing.

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2. Home prices just keep rising

The average price for a property sale went up at a record pace in the last year, squeezing many buyers out of the market and contributing to an unusually competitive season in real estate. As new construction struggles to keep pace that trend is likely to continue, especially in California which houses the country’s top five most expensive markets. Buyers should look to the Rust Belt for the best deals.

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3. When to sell to an iBuyer

Home sellers have more options than ever in this market, and for some, the best one may be to sell through an app. iBuyers are increasingly making above-market offers and cutting out much of the hassle involved in a traditional real estate transaction. If you’re thinking of selling your own property this way, here’s what you need to know.

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4. What’s driving mortgage rates?

If you’re too busy to click the story, the answer is: COVID-19, rising inflation, a robust economic recovery and the chaos in Afghanistan. But really, you should click, because you should want to know how those things are coming together to form the current rate environment.

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5. Making your mortgage work for you is a real flex

If you’re struggling to meet your monthly mortgage obligation, you may be able to update your terms to something that’s more feasible. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold roughly two-thirds of mortgage debt in America, offer a Flex Modification Program (FMP), which allows borrowers who have fallen behind to extend their loan repayment period, adjust their interest rate or change other aspects of their debt to something that’s more affordable. Here’s how it works.

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.
Edited by
Senior mortgage editor
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