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Reproduced from Realtor.com; Table: Axios Visuals

U.S. 30-year fixed mortgage rates hit another record low this week, falling to 2.65%, data released Thursday by Freddie Mac showed, but Americans are starting to worry that the goldilocks environment for home sales could be coming to an end.

What's happening: The decline in mortgage rates to the lowest in the 50-year history of the data has helped keep costs down for prospective buyers even as overall prices have skyrocketed thanks to a flood of demand and declining supply.

  • Nationally, housing inventory declined by 39.6% over the last year.

Pay attention: "[H]omebuyers can still take advantage of low rates to offset the steep rises in home prices that we’ve seen in most areas over the last year, but finding a home will continue to be challenging," Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said in a statement.

The future outlook for mortgage rates is likely higher, Hale added, "thanks to a changing landscape in Washington."

  • On Thursday, yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose above 1.1%, the highest since March, as traders priced in higher chances of another big fiscal spending package from Congress.
  • The mortgage rate moves in line with 10-year yields as well as the rates set by mortgage servicers.

Watch this space: Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index dropped six points from November to December, as both buyers and sellers became far more pessimistic about making a deal.

  • The index fell to its lowest since May, with confidence among those who said it was a "good time to buy" falling by 5 percentage points and among those who said it was a "good time to sell" dropping by 9 percentage points.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. indexes see worst day since October amid short squeeze chaos

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Equity prices tumbled Wednesday, with U.S. indexes booking their worst day since October, but traditional hedging assets like Treasury bonds, the Japanese yen and gold saw minimal gains or losses, continuing a trend that has been in place for more than a year.

By the numbers: The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq all fell by more than 2%, but the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield declined by just 1 basis point from its closing level on Tuesday.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).