Rates Drift Back Up

Mortgage rates drifted up again last week after plummeting the week prior, rising from an average 5.30% to 5.51%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.51%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.88%.

“Mortgage rates are volatile as economic growth slows due to fiscal and monetary drags,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.

“With rates the highest in over a decade, home prices at escalated levels, and inflation continuing to impact consumers, affordability remains the main obstacle to homeownership for many Americans.”

Affordability is at record lows across the country. The average monthly mortgage payment is up 6.2% month-over-month and 51% year-over-year.

Low inventory has been blamed for the worsening affordability crisis, which particularly impacts first-time buyers who can be outbid by older buyers with more cash and access to equity.

Thomas LaSalvia, Senior Economist at Moody’s Analytics, told Newsweek that first-time buyers have to be patient while inventory corrects.

“We’re going to get more supply. So I think the window for buying a home is closed, but it should open by mid-decade. But it’s going to take some time,” he said.

“So I think, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you need to be patient and use this time to save as best you can.”

Additional findings from Thursday’s report:

  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.67% with an average 0.8 point.
  • A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.22%.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.35% with an average 0.4 point.
  • A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.47%