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Mortgage rates fall for the third week in a row as big questions affect the housing market

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How much mortgage can we afford?

Mortgage lending rates declined along with the broader bond market as the transformation of the real estate industry accelerated.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.1

0% for the week ended May 9, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That fell 4bps during the week.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.57% after 3.60%. The five-year Treasury indexed variable rate hybrid mortgage averaged 3.63%, down 5 basis points.

The 30-year fix equals the 10-year benchmark Treasury note

TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.22%

Worries about the economy and buzzing markets pushed investors into bonds this year. Bond yields fall with rising prices. So far, the popular mortgage product has grown only six times a week so far, and Freddie's chief economist cut his 2019 interest rate forecast last week.

Mortgage rates fall as an economist waves the white flag

Meanwhile, as the spring season reached its peak, buyer demand for Rich Harty, a realtor, was a "gangbuster "in Chicagoland.

Mortgage rates were "cooperative" and a blessing for the buyers Harty works with.

"I had a record year in 2018 and 2019 will be even better," Harty told MarketWatch. Real estate, however, is hyper-local, it seems: some communities that are adjacent to their workplaces are not doing so well, largely because of high property taxes.

(MarketWatch previously introduced Harty, who is also licensed in Wisconsin and often sells homes to award-winning Chicago residents, but is now too busy in the metro area to work across state lines.) See: 1 of 6 home buyers get a deposit from the seller. That tells us that.

In fact, what keeps Harty awake at night is the big question at such busy stores. He paid close attention to the class action lawsuit against major real estate companies and the National Association of Realtors, as well as a wave of seismic shifts in the industry that made real estate agents redundant.

"Where will I be in five or ten years?" Harty said. "Is this the last hurray before everything starts to shake?"

Read also: Another development of the real estate industry: New Redfin program allows home purchases without agents

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