Arvin Samadabadi

December 4, 2023

The Current State of Mortgage Rates and Market Responses

In 2023, the housing market landscape is evolving with the reduction in mortgage rates. As of December 1st, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate slips to 7.09%. That's the lowest reading since September 1st. It's down 94 bps since the multi-decade high hit last month (8.03%). This shift has led to a 5% increase in mortgage applications for the week ending Nov. 24, as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, remarked, "If rates fall below 7%, I think we're going have a surprisingly strong year"​​.

Lance Lambert's ResiClub Data

Understanding the Buyer-Seller Dynamics

The recent developments have triggered a mixed response from buyers and sellers. While buyers are showing renewed interest, sellers remain cautious. Fannie Mae’s housing sentiment index indicates that 37% of homeowners perceive the current period as unfavorable for selling. This seller reluctance contributes to the persisting issue of limited inventory, intensifying competition among buyers and potentially leading to bidding wars​​.

Market Predictions: Evaluating the Balance

As Fairweather points out, "If rates fall, we will see more buyers come back to the market and with limited inventory that will create bidding wars that push up prices"​​. The limited inventory, with a supply of 4.2 months as of late November, suggests a market that is not yet balanced, where 4 to 5 months of supply is considered equilibrium​​.

Developers in the Driving Seat

The evolving dynamics of the 2023 housing market, particularly the decrease in mortgage rates, present a significant opportunity for builders. As mortgage rates become more favorable, it's expected that buyer demand will increase. This heightened demand, coupled with the current limited inventory of existing homes, positions builders to capitalize on the need for new housing developments. Builders can benefit from this situation by ramping up construction to meet the growing demand. Moreover, the competitive market may lead to higher selling prices, potentially increasing profit margins for new construction projects. By responding quickly to these market changes, builders can leverage the situation to their advantage, addressing the gap between supply and demand in the housing market.


  1. Yahoo Finance: "Homebuyer conundrum: If mortgage rates fall, bidding wars will follow, expert says". This article provided the initial context and expert opinions that formed the basis of the analysis. Yahoo Finance Article​​.
  2. - 2023 Housing Market Predictions and Forecast: Offers a comprehensive overview of key housing indicators and trends for 2023, including mortgage rates, for-sale inventory, and rent growth expectations. 2023 Forecast​​​​​​.
  3. The Mortgage Reports - State of the Housing Market: Fall 2023: Provides detailed information on housing inventory, the latest listing data, new residential construction reports, and insights into home sales and buyer sentiment. The Mortgage Reports - Fall 2023 Housing Market​​​​​​​​​​​​.
  4. Freddie Mac - Economic, Housing and Mortgage Market Outlook – November 2023: Offers an in-depth analysis of recent developments in the U.S. mortgage market and provides insights into economic and housing market trends. Freddie Mac November 2023 Outlook​​​​​​.

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