It was reported this week that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage declined to 6.61%.

Compared to last week's rate of 6.67%, this rate is Marginally lower than last year's rate of 6.42%.

A drop in 15-year fixed mortgage rates was also observed, with an-

average of 5.93% compared to 6.95% last week and 5.68% a year ago.

Contracts for previously-owned homes remained at a record low in November, according to the-

latest index of pending home sales published by the National Association of Realtors.

In October, the index had a reading of 71.4, which has already been the lowest reading

since the index was created in January 2001 and was expected to rise by 1% from that reading.

Several factors contribute to this stagnation, including high mortgage rates, inflation, and a shortage of housing.

Housing starts rose 14.8% last month despite flat pending home sales.

As a result, progress appears to be being made in the otherwise stagnant housing market.

Buyers have been turning to new construction, drawn by limited existing home supply and builders offering-

incentives such as lower rates, according to Realtor chief economist Danielle Hale.

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