US mortgage rates rose again this week as demand for mortgages fell, according to two widely followed reports.
Buyers and sellers are becoming increasingly nervous as the average 30-year fixed rate on mortgages (more than double the rate at the beginning of the year) approaches 7%.
Homebuilders are also losing confidence in the housing market amid rising interest rates that one industry leader calls “unhealthy and unsustainable.”
“With mortgage rates approaching 7%, demand has waned significantly, especially among prospective first-time homebuyers and first-generation homebuyers,” says Jerry of the National Association of Home Builders. Connor said. said this week.
“Policy makers must address this worsening housing affordability crisis.”
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30 year fixed rate mortgage
Average interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages hit 6.94% this week, up from 6.92% the week before, said mortgage giant Freddie Mac. reported on thursdayAt this point a year ago, the 30-year average was 3.09%.
Recent rate hikes have been more gradual than in previous weeks, but borrowing costs are still at their highest level in 20 years and getting worse.
“30-year fixed-rate mortgages continue to hover at 7%, hurting the housing market in the form of lower demand,” said Sam Cater, chief economist at Freddie Mac.
“Additionally, homebuilder confidence has halved from just six months ago, and construction continues to slow, especially single-family home construction.”
15 year fixed rate mortgage
Average interest rates on 15-year fixed mortgages averaged 6.23%, up from 6.09% last week, according to Freddie Mac. At this point a year ago, the average 15-year interest rate was 2.33% for him.
Since then, buyers have lost significant purchasing power, and many have had to adjust budgets or put their searches on hold.
In the face of declining buyers, sellers were no longer able to call all shots.
“Among recently sold properties that have been on the market for over a month, sellers have had to mark down an average of 12%.” To tell Nadia Evangelou, senior economist at the National Association of Realtors, said:
5 year variable rate mortgage
The average interest rate for the increasingly popular 5-year adjustable rate home loan (ARM) this week was 5.71%, down from 5.81% last week.
A year ago to this point, these adjustable mortgages averaged 2.54%.
This week’s drop in interest rates is fixed for the first five years, then prime rate.
Buyers are scooping up variable-rate mortgages at rates not seen since the Great Recession, betting they have a chance to refinance to lower fixed-rate mortgages before the ARM adjusts.
Mortgage rates could become the ‘new normal’
The rate has risen steadily this year Action by the Federal Reserve System To curb decades of high inflation despite causing pain to consumers.
Interest rates today can be viewed as the “new normal,” says Evangelou.
She notes that 7% was typical in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s. However, homeownership rates were higher then than they are today.
“Today’s potential buyers also have to deal with higher inflation,” says Evangelou. “While inflation outpaces wage growth, the typical family will have to stretch their budget and spend more than 25% of their income on mortgage payments.
“Including other costs such as mortgage insurance, home insurance, taxes and maintenance fees, the cost of buying a home is over 30% of a typical family income.”
Mortgage application of the week
The latest data showed that mortgage applications were down 4.5% week-on-week. report From the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
“The pace and level of interest rate increases this year have significantly reduced refinancing activity and exacerbated existing affordability challenges in the purchase market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist. says.
“Housing activity, from home starts to home sales, is trending downward in line with rising interest rates.”
Refinancing applications for existing loans were down 7% from the previous week and down 86% from last year. Mortgage referral rates fell to 28.3% from 29% the week before.
Mortgage applications to buy a home were down 4% this week, down 38% from the same week last year.
“With such a high price level, ARM’s share rose to 12.8% of all applications, the highest share since March 2008,” says Kan.
“ARM loans remain a viable option for borrowers who are still looking for ways to reduce their monthly payments.”
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