Government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac reports average interest rates for U.S. home loans are still on the rise and are now at 5.11%, according to a report released Thursday.
And it’s a trend that looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
Here’s the news: In a note accompanying its Thursday report, Freddie Mac said the current 5.11% average for a 30-year fixed rate home loan is up from the 5% mark set a week ago and continues a seven-week streak of escalations. The secondary-market lender also noted higher interest rates, which have risen over 2% in just the last year, appear to finally be having some impacts on the overheated U.S. housing market.
“While springtime is typically the busiest homebuying season, the upswing in rates has caused some volatility in demand,” Freddie Mac wrote in a note posted with its rate report. “It continues to be a seller’s market, but buyers who remain interested in purchasing a home may find that competition has moderately softened.”
More to come: The average home loan interest rate increases over recent months have been the fastest since the mid-90s and, just one year ago, the average interest on a 30-year fixed rate loan stood at 2.97%, according to the Associated Press.
And, with the Federal Reserve set to make further upward adjustments to the federal lending rate, which got bumped up last month, the cost of borrowing money, be it for a home, new car or other consumer or business goods, is going to get even more expensive.
Federal Reserve officials have signaled that they will take an aggressive approach to fighting high inflation this year, per AP. In minutes from their March policy meeting released earlier this month, Fed officials said that half-point interest rate hikes, rather than traditional quarter-point increases, “could be appropriate” multiple times this year. The Fed raised its main borrowing rate by a quarter-point in March, its first increase since late in 2018.
Slightly less than red-hot: On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously occupied U.S. homes fell in March to the slowest pace in nearly two years, as a swift rise in mortgage rates and record-high prices discouraged would-be homebuyers as the spring buying season begins, according to AP.
Median home prices in March jumped 15% from a year ago at this time to $375,300. That’s an all-time high on data going back to 1999, NAR said.
How much more? According to a Wall Street Journal breakdown of a typical mortgage deal, the monthly payment on a $405,000 home with an interest rate of 5% is 38.1% higher than the payment on a similarly priced home would have been a year ago, according to Realtor.com data. With a 20% down payment, that would boost monthly mortgage payments by $481.