Mortgage rate decline pulls buyers back into the housing market

A sharp drop in mortgage interest rates in December may have kickstarted this year’s spring housing market early. Rates are about a full percentage point lower than they were in October, and consumers expect they will fall even more.

Optimism about mortgage rates increased sharply in December, according to a monthly consumer survey by Fannie Mae. For the first time since the survey was launched in 2010, more homeowners on net believe rates will go down rather than up, according to Mark Palim, deputy chief economist at Fannie Mae.

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