Inflation Drives Mortgage Rates Over 3%

A blackboard with a chart showing increases

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was back above 3% this week, and economists believe rates will continue to increase over the next few months.

“The combination of rising inflation and consumer spending is driving mortgage rates higher,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Shoppers looking to buy a home are fueling a strong demand while ongoing inventory shortages are not improving in the presence of higher home prices. This reality illustrates the challenging situation facing the housing market.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.10% this week, Freddie Mac reports. The National Association of REALTORS® is forecasting that rates will increase to 3.50% by the middle of 2022.

“With more homes to hit the market and higher mortgage rates, expect the housing market to slow down in 2022 but remain above the pre-pandemic level,” Nadia Evangelou, NAR’s senior economist and director of forecasting, writes for the association’s blog.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 18:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.10%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.98% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.72%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.39%, with an average 0.6 point, increasing from last week’s 2.27% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.28%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.49%, with an average 0.3 point, dropping from last week’s 2.53% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.85%.

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