Mortgage Rates Reach Peak High Since April

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.05%, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) from Freddie Mac. This marks a peak in rates not seen since April.

Mortgage details:

– 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending Oct. 14, 2021, up from last week when it averaged 2.99%. Last year, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81%.

– 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.30% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.23%. Last year, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.35%.

– 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.55% with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.52%. Last year, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.90%.

How the industry is responding:

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest point since April. As inflationary pressure builds due to the ongoing pandemic and tightening monetary policy, we expect rates to continue a modest upswing.”

“Historically speaking, rates are still low, but many potential homebuyers are staying on the sidelines due to high home price growth. Rising mortgage rates combined with growing home prices make affordability more challenging for potential homebuyers.” — Sam Khater, Freddie Mac Chief Economist

“A question that pops up for millions of homeowners is whether it is a good time to sell their home. Homeowners typically sell their home after 16 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, there are about 20.2 million homeowners that purchased their home in the last 10 to 19 years. Thus, many of these homeowners may wonder if they should sell their home now or wait.

“Here are a couple of big reasons why it’s a good time to sell. First of all, there is no doubt that it’s a seller’s market. Although the market typically slows down in fall, there is still stiff competition among buyers, with multiple offers for each home due to low inventory. As a result, sellers continue to have strong negotiating power as most of them can sell their home for higher than the asking price.

“Comparing sales volume with current inventory, we are also seeing that home-buying activity is very strong. Specifically, more than half of the inventory was sold in August since the sales to inventory ratio was 0.51. Nevertheless, the sales to inventory ratio was only 0.07 back in 2009. Remember that a higher ratio implies a seller’s market, while a lower ratio implies a buyer’s market.” — Nadia Evangelou, National Association of REALTORS ® Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting

“The Freddie Mac fixed rate for a 30-year loan rose this week, despite the downward trajectory of the 10-year Treasury yield. The rate rose 6 basis points to 3.05%, as investors reacted to higher-than-expected inflation and more than 10 million unfilled job openings. Investors are conflicted about the economic momentum, with clear signs of growth on one hand, and the unknown of an expected monetary tightening on the other. With inflation at a 30-year high and holding, mortgage rates are expected to continue rising.

“For real estate markets, financing costs remain favorable, offering first-time buyers a strong incentive to keep looking. Halfway through October, the number of homes for sale has improved compared to the overheated first half of this year, leading to slower price growth. It seems that buyers and sellers are finally taking a step back from the pandemic-induced stampede of the past year to regain their footing and reassess their next steps. Today’s buyers should evaluate the impact that spending an extra $125 a month on a median home mortgage will have on their monthly budgets and longer-term finances.” — George Ratiu,® Manager of Economic Research