In June, the National Association of Realtors saw the median existing-home price for all housing types hit a new all-time high. Sales, however, continued to decline — they’re down 2.2% from a year ago. This discrepancy between prices and sales is a clear reminder that we’re in the midst of an inventory shortage and affordability is becoming a big issue.

It has also been interesting to watch how interest rates affect the types of mortgages that people are applying for.

  • In the middle of February 2017, Freddie Mac had 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 4.15% and 15-year fixed-rate at 3.35%. At that time, 57% of loans were purchase, and 43% were refi.
  • Now, in the middle of June 2018, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were at 4.62% and 15-years were at 4.01%. That slow but steady uptick in rates played a role pushing purchase to 71% of mortgages and refi to 29%.

Rates are near historic lows, but just seeing the number go up at all is enough for homeowners to rethink a refinance.