Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Mortgage Rates, March 3, 2022

Mortgage rates fell sharply this week. Specifically, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.76% from 3.89% the previous week. Russia's attack on Ukraine added more uncertainty to the markets, pushing down Treasury yields and mortgage rates. However, rates will likely rise later this month as the Fed is still on track to raise short-term interest rates in order to control inflation. Inflation is already high and at a worrisome level, and there are concerns about potential further upward pressure on inflation.

These higher mortgage rates may have a larger impact on women home buyers. Since the beginning of the year, about 320,000 more single women have been priced out than single men. Meanwhile, single women renters are significantly more squeezed than single men renters. Fifty-four percent of single women renters spend more than 30% of their income for rent compared to 44% for their male counterparts. Moreover, women face more challenges to be approved for a home loan. According to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, 17% of mortgage applications submitted by women were denied compared to 14% of men applicants. While the main reason that the mortgage lender rejected their application is their debt-to-income ratio, women applicants also reported unreliable credit history as a reason they were rejected. Thus, given their lower household income, women may need to make even more financial sacrifices in order to become home buyers.