The average 30-year mortgage rate rose to 6.73% this week from 6.35% last week.
It was the highest reading on mortgage rates since 2008, further evidence that the decade-long period of low interest rates following the Great Recession is over. The Federal Reserve has moved aggressively to rein in inflation, with the third straight 3/4 percentage point hike in the past week appearing to be putting long-term upward pressure on mortgage rates.
“Only when inflation calms down will we see mortgage rates begin to steady,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.
The Fed does not directly control fixed mortgage rates; the most relevant number is the 10-year Treasury yield, which has risen in recent weeks.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 5.8%, up from 5.43% the previous week.
5/6 Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) rose to 5.51% from 5.27% a week earlier.
The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage rose 6.03%, down from 5.77% last week.
Where are mortgage rates headed?
Real estate economists expect rates to rise if the Fed takes a stance, but the question is how much.
“Fear of inflation is driving 10-year yields higher,” said Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University.
However, not everyone thinks rates will stay at this high level. “Up a full percentage point over the past 30 days, mortgage rates are going to take a breather,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.
Economists had expected interest rates to rise by the end of 2022, but not as fast as the Fed has since started tackling inflation in earnest. Competition among homebuyers is likely to ease further as mortgage rates rise above 6 per cent, although rising rates also weigh on affordability. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the national median household income in 2022 will be $90,000, while the median price of an existing home sold in August is $389,500, according to the National Association of Realtors. With a 20% down payment and a 6.73% mortgage rate, paying $2,017 a month is equivalent to 27% of a typical household’s monthly income.
A year ago, the median household income was $79,900, the median home price was $364,600, and the median mortgage rate was just 3.03%. Buying a typical home at the time required just 19% of a household’s monthly income.
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