Mortgage rates in the US rose for the fifth week in a row, topping 7.5% for the first time in more than two decades.
(Bloomberg) — Mortgage rates in the US rose for the fifth week in a row, topping 7.5% for the first time in more than two decades.
The average for a 30-year, fixed loan was 7.57%, up from 7.49% last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.
Mortgage rates hovering above 7% are pushing potential buyers out of the market, and those who can withstand the costs are battling over a shortage of properties for sale. A measure of house tours and other signs of early demand by Redfin Corp. fell to its lowest level in nearly a year for the four weeks through Oct. 8.
“The housing market remains fraught with significant affordability constraints,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in the statement. “As a result, purchase demand remains at a three-decade low.”
Policymakers are weighing the potential for more Federal Reserve rate hikes after a jobs report last week showed an unexpected surge in employment in September. Inflation has also ticked up, with a measure of US consumer prices rising for a second straight month in September, data released Thursday showed.
“The Fed’s ‘higher for longer’ monetary policy keeps upward pressure on rates, making a descent unlikely until new data suggests that inflation is moving in the right direction,” said Hannah Jones, senior economic research analyst at Realtor.com.
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