Elevated inflation and the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening policy drove the latest leap in mortgage rates this week. Since the beginning of this year, mortgage rates have jumped by 1.2%. The typical home buyer would need to spend $250 more every month to be able to purchase a home, Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®, writes on the association’s blog.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moved up to a 4.42% average this week, more than a quarter of a percentage point compared to last week, Freddie Mac reports in its latest mortgage market survey. Rates continued to rise across loan types. “Rising inflation, escalating geopolitical uncertainty, and the Federal Reserve’s actions are driving rates higher and weakening consumers’ purchasing power,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In short, the rise in mortgage rates, combined with continued house price appreciation, is increasing monthly mortgage payments and quickly affecting home buyers’ ability to keep up with the market.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 24:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.42%, with an average 0.8 point, rising from last week’s 4.16% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.17%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.63%, with an average 0.8 point, increasing from last week’s 3.39% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.45%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36%, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.19% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.84%.
Freddie Mac reports average commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining a mortgage.