Mortgage Rates Sharply Higher, Erasing Most Of The Recent Recovery
A housing recovery that was expected to accelerate this year is instead sputtering. And no, you can’t just blame the weather. Sharp increases in home prices in much of the USA, along with higher.
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Although speculation the Fed could begin to curtail its bond buying within a few months has driven mortgage rates sharply higher in recent days, economists say the fundamentals of the housing.
Freddie Mac cites consumer confidence, Fed speculation; sees rates climbing for remainder of 2007. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans climbed to 6.37 percent for the week ending May 24, up from 6.21 the previous week, the mortgage finance firm said. Last year at this time, 30-year mortgage rates averaged 6.62 percent.
Interest rates are near a cyclical, long-term historical low. That makes a fixed-rate mortgage more appealing than an adjustable-rate loan for most home buyers. ARMs can reset to a higher rate of interest over the course of the loan & cause once affordable loans to become prohibitively expensive.
1 Higher rates would not increase mortgage payments if house prices fell enough to compensate for the rise in rates. 2 For a rate increase of 100 bps (1 percent) on a $200,000 loan, the value of holding on to below-market financing is at most $2,000 per year of savings in interest payments.
But higher interest rates could be taking some of the air out the recovery. The government revised sharply lower its estimate for new home sales in May and June. At July’s sales pace it would take 5.2 months to clear the houses on the market, up from 4.3 months in June.
Mortgage rates, as measured by average rates reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association, have dropped sharply over the past year from 3.9% to 3.7%, but buying has only become a little cheaper than renting.