The reversal after declines over the last three weeks has economists closely watching for the Fed’s anticipated rate hike next week.
Following three weeks of declines, mortgage rates reversed course and headed back up this week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.23% for the week ending June 9; a year ago, it averaged below 3%.
Increased economic activity and incoming inflation data were behind the most recent rate increases this week, says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The housing market is incredibly rate sensitive, so as mortgage rates increase suddenly, demand again is pulling back,” he says. “The material decline in purchase activity combined with the rising supply of homes for sale will cause a deceleration in price growth to more normal levels, providing some relief for buyers still interested in purchasing a home.”
Fed’s Anticipated Rate Hike Looms
Economists will watch the Federal Reserve’s actions closely this coming week. The central bank is largely expected to raise its key benchmark rate at its next meeting, June 14-15.
“Ahead of May’s inflation reading, investors are concerned about inflation and the impact of an upcoming half-percentage point rate hike from the Federal Reserve next week,” Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®, writes on the association’s blog. However, “the upcoming rate hike will likely have a smaller impact on mortgage rates this time.”
In March, when the Federal Reserve raised its short-term interest rates, mortgage rates surged 80 basis points in the following three weeks, Evangelou notes. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped from 3.85% to 4.67% by the end of March. In May, when the Federal Reserve raised its interest rates even more aggressively, mortgage rates rose by less than 20 basis points. By the end of May, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.10%.
“It seems that mortgage rates have already priced in some of the effects of the upcoming Fed’s rate hikes,” Evangelou explains. She is forecasting mortgage rates to average 5.6% to 5.7% by late 2022.
Snapshot of Mortgage Rates
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending June 9:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.23%, with an average 0.9 point, increasing from last week’s 5.09% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.96%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.38%, with an average 0.8 point, rising slightly from last week’s 4.32% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.23%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.12%, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 4.04% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.55%.
Freddie Mac reports commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.