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The average 30-year mortgage rate decreased this week for the third consecutive week as markets gain confidence that interest rate spikes will slow in 2023, according to a new report by Freddie Mac. 

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 6.49% for the week ending Dec. 1, 2022, down from the previous week’s 6.58%, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.76%, down from the previous week when it averaged 5.9%.

“Mortgage rates continued to drop this week as optimism grows around the prospect that the Federal Reserve will slow its pace of rate hikes,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said in a statement.  “Even as rates decrease and house prices soften, economic uncertainty continues to limit homebuyer demand as we enter the last month of the year.”

The U.S. could dip into a recession during the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest Bank of America forecast. And while inflation growth has cooled, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said inflation may not reach the Fed’s target rate of 2% until 2024