U.S mortgage rates highest in more than 23 years

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Real Estate

Oct 25 (Reuters) - The interest rate on the most popular U.S. home loan last week jumped to the highest since September 2000, marking its seventh straight weekly increase and driving mortgage applications to a 28-year low, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The 7.9% average contract rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage during the week ended Oct. 20 was up 20 basis points from the prior week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said.

"Mortgage activity continued to stall, with applications dipping to the slowest weekly pace since 1995," MBA vice president and deputy chief economist Joel Kan said. "These higher mortgage rates are keeping prospective homebuyers out of the market and continue to suppress refinance activity."

The cost of borrowing to buy a house has risen even as the Federal Reserve has put its inflation-fighting rate-hike campaign on pause, after lifting its benchmark policy rate from near zero in March 2022 to 5.25-5.50% in July of this year.




Image Copyright, 2016, Freddie Mac. Reprinted with permission.

Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US, October 24, 2023.