Mortgage Rates Monday, March 27: Drop; Buyers Face Tight Inventory

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Mortgage rates today for 30-year fixed loans and 5/1 ARMs dropped, while rates for 15-year fixed loans rose, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders Monday morning.

Trulia: Buyers face lowest inventory since 2012

Fewer options for starter and trade-up homes are creating a dilemma for hopeful home buyers, who are also encountering rising home prices, according to the Trulia Inventory and Price Watch.

The quarterly report evaluates the supply of starter, trade-up and premium homes for sale across the U.S. and in the country’s largest metro areas.

» MORE: How much home can you afford?

Overall, there were 5.1% fewer homes on the market year-over-year in the first quarter of 2017, Trulia reported. The metro areas that have experienced the strongest home price growth since 2012 were also the housing markets with the lowest levels of inventory, Trulia said.

Inventory of starter homes — which are typically more affordable and desirable among first-time home buyers — and trade-up homes dipped 8.7% and 7.9%, respectively, year-over-year. Meanwhile, the number of premium homes slipped just 1.7%.

For would-be home buyers, especially millennial first-time buyers, saving for a down payment amid rising home prices and low inventory presents the biggest obstacle to homeownership.

“In markets plagued with tight inventory and decreasing affordability, millennials, who make up most of these first-time buyers, may find homeownership increasingly out of reach,” Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist, said in a news release. “However, there continues to be an uptick in new construction, which should help increase supply in some inventory-constrained markets.”

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: dkearns@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @debbie_kearns.

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