US mortgage rates hit record high amid inflation woes

“Mortgage rates jumped again due to high inflation and stronger than expected consumer spending,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is nearing 4%, reaching highs we have not seen since May 2019. As rates and house prices rise, affordability has become a substantial hurdle for potential homebuyers, especially as inflation threatens to place a strain on consumer budgets.”

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.15%, up from 2.93% last week and 2.21% at this time last year. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) posted an 18 basis-point week-over-week increase to 2.98% and was up from 2.77% a year ago.

“An uptick in rates, followed by increased volatility driven by geopolitical events, has made for one of the bumpiest weeks for rates in some time,” said Robert Heck, vice president of mortgage at Morty. “This is reminiscent of the February/March leading up to the COVID shutdowns in 2020 and has created a challenging environment for homebuyers to navigate.”

“We were expecting to see volatility in rates this year, and that’s certainly holding true,” Heck added. “While rates are on the rise overall, they are unlikely to trend directly upward, meaning that volatility will continue. This environment is where the value of a mortgage marketplace really comes into play. There are mortgage options out there that protect against volatile and rising rate environments.”

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