US mortgage rates jump to highest level since 2019

They have resumed their upward climb

US mortgage rates jump to highest level since 2019

by Christine Maurus

Mortgage rates in the US resumed their upward climb, reaching the highest level since August 2009.

The average for a 30-year loan jumped to 5.27% from 5.10% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.

The Federal Reserve yesterday raised its benchmark rate by a half point, the biggest bump since 2000, and signaled further hikes to come in its effort to cool inflation and the overheated housing market. Higher mortgage costs -- already up more than two percentage points this year -- may increasingly push out would-be homebuyers and ease competition for a scarce supply of listings.

“While housing affordability and inflationary pressures pose challenges for potential buyers, house-price growth will continue but is expected to decelerate in the coming months,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in the statement.

Families typically spent 18.7% of their income on mortgage payments in the first quarter, up from 14.2% a year earlier, data from National Association of Realtors showed this week.

At the current 30-year average, a borrower with a $300,000 mortgage would pay $1,660 a month, $377 more than at the end of last year.

“With much higher monthly payments, buyers who don’t have savings for a large down payment risk being priced out of the market,” said Joel Berner, senior economic research analyst from “Unfortunately, this is occurring just as nationwide rents reach an all-time high, making saving more difficult for those looking to buy their first home.”

Tight inventory is beginning to crimp purchases. But plenty of pent-up demand from the past couple of years and a rising share of cash buyers make a crash in home sales unlikely, according to Matthew Pointon, senior property economist at Capital Economics. 


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