Mortgage rates continue to rise and are nearly a full percentage point higher than a year ago. House hunters should brace themselves for rates near 4% before the end of the year, economists say. “The normalization of the economy continues as mortgage rates jumped to the highest level since the emergence of the pandemic,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Rate increases are expected to continue due to a strong labor market and high inflation, which likely will have an adverse impact on homebuyer demand.”
Rising rates, however, are depressing housing affordability, Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®, writes on the association’s blog. The interest rate on a mortgage has a direct impact on the size of the mortgage payment. Nearly 4 million households will likely be affected by rising rates in 2022, she notes.
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Feb. 10:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.69%, with an average 0.8 point, rising from last week’s 3.55% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.73%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.93%, with an average 0.8 point, increasing from last week’s 2.77% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.19%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.8%, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 2.71% average. A year ago, the 5-year ARMs averaged 2.79%.
Freddie Mac reports commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront costs of obtaining the mortgage.