Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

U.S. mortgage rates jump to highest level in 7 years

What effects will a cooling housing market have on the economy? Mortgage rates hit 7-year high, crimping home sales
Priscilla Morrison | 11 November, 2018, 04:40

The survey's contract rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose to 5.15 percent from 5.11 percent.

For the same period a year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.9 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

US mortgage rates jumped this week to the highest level in nearly eight years, a trend that is pulling down home sales and slowing home price growth.

Fixed-rate mortgages move in line with the USA 10-year Treasury note, although with a slight delay.

The data signal higher mortgage costs are an ever-growing headwind for USA home buyers, who already face a dearth of affordable listings.

The Fed in September raised the fed funds rate for the third time this year, citing the strong labor market and healthy spending by consumers and businesses.

Higher rates have kept many would-be home purchasers on the sidelines.

More news: Brexit: Jo Johnson exit exposes Theresa May's weakness

Rates for home loans roared higher, taking the benchmark mortgage product to a new high and setting up a fresh test for an already strained housing market.

Sales of existing homes haven't fared any better, falling for six straight months.

Rising interest rates are pushing mortgage applications to four-year lows.

The yield on the 10-year reached 3.23 percent Thursday, up almost a full percentage point from 2.33 percent a year ago.

Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. The rate for a jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 4.94% to 4.97%. The fee on 15-year mortgages ticked up by one-tenth to 0.5 point. Five-year adjustable rate mortgages also rose by 10 basis points to 4.14 percent.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.3 percent while the VA share of total applications increased to 10.1 percent from 9.8 percent and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.

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