Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate home loans fell to 4.23 percent from 4.30 percent last week. The benchmark rate stood at 3.71 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, lowest in records dating to 1971.
Sales of existing homes fell 3.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The decline may represent just a temporary slump after the sharp sales increase in January.
With the Federal Reserve having raised its benchmark interest rate Wednesday and signaled the likelihood of additional rate hikes later this year, consumers and businesses will feel it — if not immediately, then over time.