‘Affordability is hindered’: Mortgage rates rise for fourth week in a row, hover around 7%


The numbers: Mortgage rates are up for the fourth week in a row.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 7.1%, up from 6.94% on Wednesday, according to the latest data of mortgage brokers released Thursday by Mortgage News Daily. 

Mortgage News Daily says its index is driven by real-time changes in actual lender rate sheets. On Saturday, the 30-year rate had eased slightly to 6.97%.

Separately, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.65% as of March 2, up 15 basis points from the previous week, Freddie Mac
also said Thursday. 

The 30-year was last at this level in mid-November 2022. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point. 

Last week, the 30-year was at 6.5%. Last year, the 30-year was averaging at 3.76%, Freddie Mac said.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage rose to 5.89%, from 5.76% the previous week. The 15-year was at 3.01% a year ago.

Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates is based on thousands of applications received from lenders across the country that are submitted to Freddie Mac when a borrower applies for a mortgage. 

Separate data by Mortgage News Daily said that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging at 6.94% as of Thursday morning.

Mortgage demand fell in the latest week as rates rose, according to a separate report by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase applications have dropped to the lowest level in 28 years.

What Freddie Mac said: “Given sustained economic growth and continued inflation, mortgage rates boomeranged and are inching up toward 7%,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement. 

“Now that rates are moving up, affordability is hindered and making it difficult for potential buyers to act, particularly for repeat buyers with existing mortgages at less than half of current rates,” he added.

Market reaction: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was trading above 4% during the afternoon trading session on Thursday.

Got thoughts on the housing market? Write to MarketWatch reporter Aarthi Swaminathan at aarthi@marketwatch.com




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