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  /  News   /  Economic Report: Mortgage rates fall to lowest level since mid-September. Freddie Mac says 3 million more people now qualify for a home loan.

Economic Report: Mortgage rates fall to lowest level since mid-September. Freddie Mac says 3 million more people now qualify for a home loan.

The numbers: Mortgage rates continue to fall, making homeownership slightly more affordable for millions of Americans.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.09% as of Feb. 2, according to data released by Freddie Mac on Thursday. 

That’s down 4 basis points from the previous week — one basis point is equal to one-hundredth of a percentage point. 

Last week, the 30-year was at 6.13%. Last year, the 30-year was averaging at 3.55%

Rates were at the lowest level since mid-September 2022.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage fell to 5.14%.

Despite a drop in rates, the gloomy economic climate has given homebuyers reason to pause. Mortgage demand dropped 9% in the latest week, according to a separate report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

What are they saying? “This one-percentage-point reduction in rates can allow as many as 3 million more mortgage-ready consumers to qualify and afford a $400,000 loan, which is the median home price,”Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.

Market reaction: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.523%

dropped below 3.4% during the afternoon trading session on Thursday.

Got thoughts on the housing market? Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at aarthi@marketwatch.com

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