The numbers: US mortgage rates continue to rise, adding hundreds of dollars in costs to potential homeowners.
The rise in mortgage rates followed the Federal Reserve raising interest rates again to meet the worst inflation the economy has faced in 40 years.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.29% as of Sept. 15, according to data released by Freddie Mac on Thursday.
That’s up 27 basis points from last week – one basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point.
The price increase is bad news for potential buyers as it potentially adds hundreds of dollars to their mortgage payments.
Mortgage rates are now at their highest level since 2008, Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in a statement.
The typical mortgage applicant̵[ads1]7;s monthly payment is $456 more than in January, he added.
Given the rise in prices and buyers pulling back, the median price of an existing home in the U.S. fell to $389,500 in August from $403,800 the previous month, the National Association of Realtors said.
A year ago, the 30-year mortgage rate was 2.88%.
The average interest rate on the 15-year mortgage also rose last week to 5.44%.
The adjustable rate mortgage averaged 4.97%, up from the previous week.
“The housing market continues to face headwinds as mortgage rates rise again this week, following the 10-year Treasury yield to its highest level since 2011,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.
“Impacted by higher prices, house prices are softening, and home sales have slowed,” he added.
The country still faces a shortage of homes for sale. And “many homeowners are just choosing not to sell at all because they don’t want to face the tough housing market,” Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, told MarketWatch.
“And that means there are fewer homes on the market. So even as buyers pull back, sellers also pull back, she added.
Meanwhile, mortgage applications rose in anticipation of further interest rate hikes last week. Buyers are keen to get into the market before mortgage rates march even higher.
Ultimately, falling home prices as a result of higher prices and sellers responding to lower demand is a “good thing,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a news conference Wednesday announcing the rate hikes.
“Home prices were rising at an unsustainably fast level,” Powell said.
“In the longer term, we need supply and demand to be better aligned, so that house prices go up to a reasonable level … and people can afford houses again,” he added. “The housing market may have to go through a correction to get back to that place.”
The yield on the 10-year government bond rose TMUBMUSD10Y,
over 3.6% in morning trading on Thursday.
Do you have thoughts about the housing market? Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at email@example.com