The 30-year fixed-rate loan averaged 5.81% in the week ending June 23, up from 5.78% the week before, according to Freddie Mac.
This time last year, rates averaged 3.02%, and the last time rates were so high was the winter of 2008.
“Fixed-rate mortgage rates have risen by more than two full percentage points since the beginning of the year,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a statement. “The combination of rising prices and high house prices is the likely driving force behind the recent declines in existing home sales. But in reality, many potential home buyers are still interested in buying a home, keeping the market competitive but flattening out over the past two years. “
Despite the jumps, mortgage rates have remained well below historic highs over the past 40 years ̵[ads1]1; especially the record-high average interest rate of 18.63% in October 1981.
Nevertheless, the sharpness of current mortgage rate increases combined with the increase in borrowing costs will ultimately make consumers more cautious, said Abbey Omodunbi, assistant vice president and senior economist at The PNC Financial Services Group.
“I think we’ll probably see further increases in mortgage rates over the rest of the year,” Omodunbi said in an interview with CNN Business. “The Fed wants to see softer housing activity.”
The Federal Reserve does not set the interest rate borrowers pay on mortgages directly, but the actions affect them. Mortgage rates tend to follow 10-year US government bonds. But interest rates are indirectly affected by the Fed’s actions against inflation. As investors see or expect interest rate increases, they often sell government bonds, which gives higher returns and thus also mortgage rates.
House prices have risen over the past two years, in part due to record low mortgage rates, pandemic-related migration patterns, the influence of investment companies buying home properties, and the Fed buying mortgage bonds.
Rents and house prices continue to rise with double-digit prices in many areas.
A year ago, a buyer who put down 20% on a median-priced home of $ 390,000 and financed the rest with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at an average interest rate of 3.02% had a monthly mortgage payment of $ 1,673, according to figures from Freddie Mac.
With the current interest rate of 5.81%, the monthly mortgage payment on the same house will be $ 2187, a difference of $ 514.
Housing already looks set to move to a “post-pandemic new normal,” said George Ratiu, Realtor.com’s head of economic research. Rents reached record highs for the 15th month in a row, but the growth rate is declining, he said, adding that house price gains are also declining.
“Market prices will continue to adapt to a smaller pool of qualified buyers and higher financing costs,” he said in a statement. “The move from an overheated real estate market to a more sustainable one will take some time. The upside is that we should eventually see a healthier environment with more options and better value for many buyers.”