High mortgage rates creating challenges for buyers
High mortgage rates creating challenging climate for home buyers
Mortgage rates continue to climb, hitting their highest level in nearly 23 years. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan rose to 7.49%, from 7.31% last week, Freddie Mac said Thursday. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage rate rose to 6.78% from 6.72% last week.
“Several factors, including shifts in inflation, the job market and uncertainty around the Federal Reserve’s next move, are contributing to the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Unsurprisingly, this is pulling back homebuyer demand.”
Depending on the length of the loan, rising mortgage rates add hundreds of dollars to a mortgage payment. While mortgage rates don’t necessarily mirror the Fed’s rate increases, they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note.
Rising mortgage rates aren’t the only issue making homeownership more expensive. Many homeowners who locked in a lower rate during the pandemic have opted not to sell out of fear of having to buy another property at today’s elevated rates, thus depleting the supply of homes for sale. A dip in inventory is also acting to push up home prices.
The national median existing home price rose in August to $407,100, up 3.9% from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. The typical mortgage payment hit $2,170, up 18% from a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Buying a home now unaffordable in 99% of America, report finds
The combination of increasing mortgage rates and a shortage of properties for sale has worsened the affordability crunch by keeping prices near all-time highs. Indeed, those costs have continued to climb even as sales of previously occupied homes fell 21% through the first eight months of the year compared with the same period of time in 2022.
Boston, Chicago, Miami, San Diego and Washington, D.C., have seen some sharpest year-over-year increases in home prices, according to data from real estate research firm CoreLogic.
Home prices have climbed in recent months, but “with a slower buying season ahead and the surging cost of homeownership, additional monthly price gains may taper off,” Selma Hepp, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a report this week.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.
National Association of Realtors
Khristopher J. Brooks
Khristopher J. Brooks is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering business, consumer and financial stories that range from economic inequality and housing issues to bankruptcies and the business of sports.
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