Borrowing Costs Jump as Rates Continue to Increase

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For the fourth consecutive week, mortgage rates surged, up more than 90 basis points in one month.

Rates have jumped from 3.76% to 4.67% in just March alone, significantly increasing the borrowing costs for buyers, Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting at the National Association of REALTORS®, wrote for the association’s blog.

The monthly payment for a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose more than $170 in March due to higher rates, Evangelou notes.

In the past three months, that amount has been increasing even more. For example, LendingTree offers the following example: A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan worth $300,000 would have cost a buyer about $1,283 a month with the average rate on Dec. 30, 2021, of 3.11%. But at the current average rate of 4.67%, that monthly cost has jumped to $1,551—an increase of $268 a month, $3,216 a year, and $96,480 over the lifetime of the loan.

Still, even with the latest jump in mortgage rates, borrowing costs do remain low by historical standards. From 2002 up until 2009, rates generally were between 5% and 6.5%, LendingTree notes.

However, buyers are facing higher asking prices for homes, and rates are projected to continue inching up.

“Mortgage rates continued moving upward in the face of rapidly rising inflation as well as the prospect of strong demand for goods and ongoing supply disruptions,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Purchase demand has weakened modestly but has continued to outpace expectations. This is largely due to unmet demand from first-time homebuyers as well as a select few who had been waiting for rates to hit a cyclical low.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 31:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.67%, with an average 0.8 points, rising from last week’s 4.42%. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.18%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.83%, with an average 0.8 points, up from last week’s 3.63% average. A year ago at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.45%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.50%, with an average 0.3 points, up from last week’s 3.36%. A year ago, 5-year ARMS averaged 2.84%.

Freddie Mac reports commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.