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The Line: Mortgage Rates Fall for the Fourth Straight Week

Gregory Heym is Chief Economist at Brown Harris Stevens. His weekly series, The Line, covers new developments to the economy, including trends and forecasts. Read on for the latest report and subscribe here to receive The Line in your inbox.



The average 30-year conforming mortgage rate averaged 6.33% this week, down from 6.49% the prior week. This marked the fourth consecutive weekly decline in rates, after reaching as high as 7.08% in mid-November. Sounds like great news, doesn’t it?


Hate to bring you down to earth, but rates were averaging just 3.10% one year ago.


We all miss mortgage rates that started with a "3," but take some solace in the fact that they have fallen by three quarters of a percent in just the past month. That’s the largest decline since 2008.


For real estate agents, this would be a great time to reach out to buyers and remind them the home they were looking at has become a lot more affordable in the past few weeks.


As the Fed continues to bring up short-term rates, expect 30-year mortgages to become increasingly more affordable. That’s because their rate hikes are designed to lower inflation, which in turn will bring down long-term mortgage rates. We are finally seeing the Fed’s actions start to bring inflation down, which has fallen from a high of a 9.0% annual rate in June to 7.8% in October. That’s still too high, but it is very good news for mortgage rates in the future.


I Love LA



I’ll give you a moment to get that song out of your head before I go on.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released gross domestic product data by county for 2021, and Los Angeles County leads the nation. It’s bad enough they stole the Dodgers, did they have to have the nation’s largest economy?


As you faithful readers know, gross domestic product is the value of goods and services produced within an area. For all the U.S., the total GDP is currently $25.7 trillion. Here are the 10 counties with the largest economies:



The counties on this list won’t come as a surprise, as they contain some of the largest cities in America. For those wondering about other counties Brown Harris Stevens represents, here they are:



The county with the smallest economy is none other than Petroleum County, Montana. Its GDP is just $11.7 million, which is unsurprising given its population of 519.



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