Mortgage rates continue to edge lower

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Mortgage rates continue to work their way down

The national average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage ended down 0.04% to 7.04% on Wednesday*.

A bit of friendly economic data, positive comments from the Bank of Canada, and lower oil prices lead the bond market higher, which in turn helped the mortgage market head lower. Friday’s jobs report is seen as critical to help the market maintain its momentum or send rates back up.

Could Congress take Wall Street out of housing?

A bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate would stop hedge funds from owning single-family homes in the U.S.

If passed by both houses, the bill would require hedge funds to sell off all the single-family homes they own over a 10-year period and eventually prohibit such companies from owning single-family homes at all. This has the potential to increase the supply of available single-family homes on the market.

It remains to be seen if the bills have the votes to pass both houses, but it could be a part of a solution to help loosen up home inventory.

Texas developers to convert office space into housing

Office buildings in Texas cities with prominent downtown areas are starting to get converted into apartments and condos. Now, not all office buildings are suitable for conversion into housing units, but those that have are attracting developers.

Texas is suffering one of the worst housing shortages in the country and needs at least 306,000 more units than it currently has.

Austin City Council member Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, said, “What downtown Austin, and what Austin as a whole, needs is more housing. We have a lot of these empty office buildings and parking garages. I think looking at how we can renovate them into housing units is something that there’s more of a need (for).”

While this won’t solve the need for additional housing on its own, converting vacant office space into residential units may help ease the shortage while additional units are built.

* National average rates accurate as of 12/6/23 from and are not advertised rates from Guaranteed Rate.

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