Rates reverse course, surge to 7-year high

by Ryan Smith20 May 2018

Mortgage rates recovered from plateauing in recent weeks and surged during the week ending May 17, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate matching its highest level since May 19, 2011, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac.

Rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.61%, with an average 0.4 point, up from the previous average of 4.55%. The weekly average also marks a jump from the 4.02% average in the same week in 2017.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, with an average 0.4 point, up from the previous 4.01% average. A year ago at this time, the mortgage averaged 3.27%.

The average rate for the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) increased to 3.82%, with an average 0.3 point, from the previous average of 3.77%. The 5-year ARM average also increased from the year-ago level of 3.13%.

“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked the bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

Khater also said that prospective homebuyers may soon become aware of inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5%, noting that the increase in rates so far this year have not caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets.


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