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Unusual housing market

The lowest mortgage rates on record are colliding with the prospect of an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, setting the stage for an unpredictable spring selling season in the housing market.

  • Be Smart: The number of refinance applications spiked 79% in the first week of March to the highest level since April 2009. The jump was also the largest week-over-week increase since November 2008.
  • By the numbers: The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.29% last week, the lowest level on record. This is great for first-time homebuyers, but it can also discourage existing homeowners from selling, WSJ noted. Mortgages rates are closely linked to yields on the 10-year Treasury.

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