The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.67% for the week of March 31, up from 4.42% last week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.18%.
“Mortgage rates continued moving upward in the face of rapidly rising inflation as well as the prospect of strong demand for goods and ongoing supply disruptions,” says Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Purchase demand has weakened modestly but has continued to outpace expectations. This is largely due to unmet demand from first-time home buyers as well as a select few who had been waiting for rates to hit a cyclical low.”
The 15-year FRM averaged 3.83% with an average 0.8 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.63%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.45%.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.5% with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.36%. A year ago at this time, the five-year ARM averaged 2.84%.
“Mortgage rates jumped much quicker and much higher than even the most aggressive forecasts called for at the end of last year, and yet housing demand appears to be holding steady,” says Ali Wolf, chief economist at Zonda. “While the market is staying strong for now, housing affordability is weakening by the day. Conversations around product and density are more important than ever.”
According to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage applications also decreased 6.8% for the week ending March 25.
“Even with the ongoing climb in rates, purchase application volumes were little changed last week. This is particularly auspicious, as we are now in the beginning of the spring home buying season, and those shopping for homes are struggling with not only higher and more volatile mortgage rates, but also an ongoing shortage of homes on the market,” says Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president and chief economist. “Given these hurdles, it appears to be promising news that purchase application volume has not declined, as many potential buyers are likely feeling the squeeze in their purchasing power from the jump in rates.”
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