Headline RoundupApril 14th, 2023

Mortgage Rates Fall for Fifth Straight Week as Housing Market Shifts

Summary from AllSides News Team

Mortgage rates fell for a fifth straight week as housing markets continued to adjust to 2023’s economic trends.

Mortgages Down: Freddie Mac reported Thursday that average 30-year mortgage rates fell to 6.27% from 6.28% the previous week — marking the fifth consecutive weekly drop. Rates previously rose sharply in 2022 from about 3% to over 7%. 

Rents Up, but Also Down: In its March inflation report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said its index for rent prices rose 0.5% in March — an increase Reason (Lean Right bias) described as “soaring.” However, a report by Redfin (Not Rated) said year-over-year asking rent “fell 0.4% in March to the lowest level in 13 months.” 

Home Prices Leveling Out: While housing prices rose in the Eastern U.S. in early 2023, they fell in the Western U.S., potentially reflecting national migration trends. However, reports suggest some markets may have “bottomed out,” and a report from Zillow said home prices rose 0.9% in March. Previously, median house prices began rising sharply in mid-2020 but appeared to level off in late 2022.

Local Politics: In many cities, housing prices have become a prominent political issue. On Tuesday, Washington’s state Senate passed legislation allowing duplexes and fourplexes in single-family zones, and a Thursday analysis in Axios (Lean Left bias) said Boston’s upcoming special elections were “all about housing.”

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was generally nonpartisan and most commonly found in business outlets. Reason blamed “government policies” for inflating rent prices.

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