U.S. mortgage rates near 8%, rising for the sixth week in a row

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U.S. mortgage rates rose for the sixth week in a row amid worries over another potential interest-rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging 7.63% as of Oct. 19, according to data released by Freddie Mac
on Thursday. 

It’s up 6 basis points from the previous week. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of a percentage point. Rates continue to be at the highest level since December 2000.

A year ago, the 30-year rate was averaging 6.94%.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage was averaging 6.92% as of Oct. 19, up from 6.89% last week. A year ago, the15-year was at 6.23%.

Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates is based on thousands of applications received from lenders across the country that are submitted to Freddie Mac when a borrower applies for a mortgage. 

Separate data from Mortgage News Daily said that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was averaging 8% as of Thursday afternoon.

What Freddie Mac said: “Mortgage rates continued to approach eight percent this week, further impacting affordability,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement.

“In this environment, it’s important that borrowers shop around with multiple lenders for the best mortgage rate,” he added.

Freddie Mac earlier this week launched a new down-payment-assistance tool that helps lenders and borrowers find programs to bring down the cost of buying a home.

What are they saying? “It’s important to note that reported rate numbers are averages at best and don’t apply across the board. Actual offerings will vary by lender and are dependent on the loan type and creditworthiness of the individual borrower,” Andy Walden, vice president of enterprise research at Intercontinental Exchange, told MarketWatch. 

“With that in mind, potential home buyers should compare rates from more than one source to ensure they’re making the most cost-effective decision for the most affordable mortgage payment,” he said.

In a statement, Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said: “While 2023 has been a tough time for the housing market, the MBA expects that mortgage rates will moderate heading into 2024, which should bring some relief to those looking to buy a home.”

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