Mortgage rates climb, closing in on 7%
(CNN) — After taking a breather last week, mortgage rates rose again — moving even closer to 7%.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.92% in the week ending October 13, up from 6.66% the week before, according to Freddie Mac. It is the highest average rate since April 2002. A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate stood at 3.05%.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the past year as the Federal Reserve pushed ahead with its unprecedented campaign of hiking interest rates in order to tame soaring inflation. The combination of the central bank’s rate hikes, investor’s concerns about a recession and mixed economic news has made mortgage rates volatile over the past several months.
“We continue to see a tale of two economies in the data,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Strong job and wage growth are keeping consumers’ balance sheets positive, while lingering inflation, recession fears and housing affordability are driving housing demand down precipitously.”
He said the next several months will undoubtedly be important for the economy and the housing market. Already, home sales are dropping and prices are cooling as well.
The average mortgage rate is based on a survey of conventional home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20% down and have excellent credit, according to Freddie Mac. But many buyers who put down less money up front or have less than perfect credit will pay more.
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