Mortgage and real estate news this week: Falling rates and extended eviction protections

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Favorable mortgage rates continue to dominate the news at Bankrate, and other big stories this week are good for homeowners, renters and mortgage borrowers as well. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Mortgage rates are down again…

In Bankrate’s latest weekly survey, mortgage rates saw another drop, hitting 3 percent for the first time since February. For homebuyers, that’s good news because it means greater borrowing power — and therefore, a higher purchase budget. For existing homeowners, it’s even better news, because lower rates equal more refinancing opportunities for more people.

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2. …and they’re likely to stay low for a while

Most experts expect mortgage rates to remain low through the rest of August. Although they may bounce around a little, a big spike is unlikely, so the refi window should remain open for most homeowners.

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3. CDC extends eviction moratorium to Oct. 3.

President Biden called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to extend the pandemic-related ban on tenant evictions as COVID-19 cases spike. The latest extension only applies to areas of the country with substantial case loads, and it faces an uncertain legal future with court challenges likely. Even so, the latest announcement is a reprieve for some renters staring down the possibility of homelessness.

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4. As housing supply ages, homeowners pay more for maintenance

With new construction stagnating, the average age of homes in the U.S. is rising. As a result, buyers may be able to find deals on the purchase price, but should be ready for extra upkeep once they close. This is what you should know about America’s aging housing stock.

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5. Average borrower credit scores recede slightly

Homeowners have benefited from low mortgage rates through refinancing, and the popularity of overhauling loans during the pandemic is reflected in mortgage applicant credit data. The median credit score for mortgage borrowers last quarter was 786, down just two points from Q1’s record high of 788.

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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.
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