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Real estate agents confirm what housing data is starting to show: More homebuyers are emerging from their self-imposed hibernation.

The volume of mortgage applications for home purchases rose 25% week over week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey for the week ending Jan. 13 found. Housing sentiment ticked higher at the end of last year, per Fannie Mae. And home builders are reporting an increase in buyer traffic in January, the first uptick since December 2021, according to an industry survey.

These buyers are hoping to reap the rewards from a more favorable market, bagging seller incentives along with a slightly lower mortgage rate, before the spring-buying season attracts more competition.

“I had one of my clients at Meta and another from Microsoft who were active up until September of last year reach out to me last weekend,” Jeff Reynolds, a broker at Compass and founder of, told Yahoo Finance. “They had wanted to see what the market would do, and since it seems to have stabilized and rates are down, they are hoping to get a step ahead of what would inevitably be a real estate bottom.”

‘Bringing people back in’

The dip in mortgage rates in recent weeks has taken some of the edge off of the record-setting ascent rates clocked in last year. Last week, the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage — the most commonly used home loan for a purchase — settled closer to 6% than 7%, fitting into more buyers’ budgets.

“Interest rates are better for first-time buyers. I think naturally it’s just bringing people back in,” John Downs, senior vice president at Vellum Mortgage, told Yahoo Finance.