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The Housing Market Isn’t Booming For Everyone: Four Numbers That Sum It All Up

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the United States, mortgage rates plummeted as the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near zero. Those rock-bottom borrowing rates helped prop up the housing market during the worst of the economic slowdown in the spring and fueled tremendous growth in July. 

While it may be a hot time to buy for some, Americans on the lower end of the income spectrum are struggling. Here are four numbers that shed light on the bifurcated housing market. 


That’s how much existing home sales—a measure of reselling activity for previously owned homes—rose from June to July, according to the National Association of Realtors. It’s the highest rate since December 2006. 


That’s the current rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to data released yesterday by federal mortgage investor Freddie Mac, down from 3.55% a year ago. The 30-year rate hit a low of 2.88% two weeks ago and has crept back up since then.


That’s how much mortgage applications have fallen since last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, in part because of slightly higher rates. 


That’s how many more people were at least 90 days behind on their mortgage in July compared to June—a 20% increase—according to the Washington Post. While mortgage delinquencies overall are down, serious delinquencies have reached a 10-year high, indicating that economic stress from other areas is seeping into the housing market.

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