Mortgage rates continued their steady climb through the week ending May 24 to reach their highest level since May 5, 2011, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac.
Rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.66%, with an average 0.4 point, up from the previous average of 4.61%. The latest average also marks an increase from the 3.95% average a year ago at this time.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15%, with an average 0.4 point, up from 4.08%. A year ago at this time, the mortgage averaged 3.19%.
The average rate for the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage was 3.87%, with an average 0.3 point, an increase from the previous 3.82% average. In the year ago period, the mortgage averaged 3.07%.
“Mortgage rates so far in 2018 have had the most sustained increase to start the year in over 40 years,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “Through May, rates have risen in 15 out of the first 21 weeks (71%), which is the highest share since Freddie Mac began tracking this data for a full year in 1972.”
Khater said that given the extremely low housing inventory, it important to keep an eye on whether would-be sellers stay put in their current homes given higher borrowing costs. In case homeowners decide not to sell out of reluctance of having a higher mortgage rate, inventory shortages would likely worsen.
Rates reverse course, surge to 7-year high
Mortgage rates hold steady