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News & Advice

Economic Fast Facts – Week Ending March 31, 2023
  1. 30 YR FIXED RATE FALLS FOR 3RD WEEK: Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® shows that the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage declined from 6.73% on March 9 to 6.32% on March 30.
  2. HOME BUYERS ACTING FAST IN JAN-FEB: Despite the slowdown in sales, competition for homes still exists due to continuing low inventory - 29% of closed sales in January and February went under contract in under one week*.
  3. CUSTOMER SENTIMENT DOWN IN MARCH OVER RECESSION AND BANKING SECTION WORRIES: University of Michigan’s Customer Sentiment Score for March was 62, down from 67 in February, ending an upward streak dating back to November.
The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS) shows that the rate for a 30 yr. fixed rate mortgage declined to 6.32% as of March 30. The PMMS results are compiled from actual loan applications nation and various lender type – bank, mortgage companies, and credit unions – submitted to Freddie Mac.
  • This decline comes after the Federal Reserve increased the Federal Funds rate last week, illustrating the fact the mortgage rates are not directly impacted by Federal Funds Rate.
  • The current rate of 6.32% is lower than the rate at the start of the year, but higher than 4.67% rate for the same week in 2022.
  • Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist for the Bright MLS, notes that there is no clear direction for rates right now, as signals on the economy are mixed.
Buyers in the Mid-Atlantic Region* still need to be prepared to act quickly when they find a property they like because 29% of closed sales were under contract in under one week for the first two months of 2023.
  • This is less frenzied than in 2022, when this happened for 45% of closing for the same period. However, this is elevated compared to a 20% rate in 2019 pre-pandemic.
  • While there is some year over year inventory relief, active inventory is still down over 50% from February 2019, meaning home buyers still have a limited selection from which to find a new home.
Customer Sentiment took a decline from 67 in February to 62 in March. Sentiment had been trending upward since November 2022.
  • Despite the decline, the score is slightly higher than one year ago. (59.4; +4.4%)
  • The decline is mostly attributed to increased perception of a recession later in the year and to banking section worries.
  • Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed swiftly mid-month. In Switzerland, UBS was asked by Swiss authorities to take over rival Credit Suisse.
Remember, national trends often hide regional differences. Real estate trends are highly localized. You can find more market and economic information specific to your regional area by visiting the Long & Foster’s Market Conditions Report on and the Economic Market Report on Internet Hub.
*Source: Bright MLS