US mortgage rates climb to 4-year high

WASHINGTON — Long-term U.S. mortgage rates climbed this week to their highest average in more than four years, ratcheting up affordability pressures at the start of the traditional spring home buying season.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 4.46 percent this week from 4.43 percent last week. This marks the highest average since January 2014. The 30-year rate averaged 4.21 percent a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans rose to 3.94 percent from 3.90 percent last week.

Higher mortgage rates appear to be weighing on home sales, since buyers are facing higher borrowing costs. Home purchases slumped 3.2 percent from December to January, according to the National Association of Realtors. On a yearly basis, home sales have fallen 4.8 percent, the sharpest annual decline since August 2014.

Relatively low mortgage rates had helped to ease the financial pressures from home prices rising faster than wages and the worsening shortage of properties listed for sale. But rising rates are slowly hurting affordability.

Mortgage rates have been heading upward for the past nine weeks. The interest rates charged on home loans usually hew close to changes in inflation and the interest paid on U.S. government debt. But the recent increases in mortgage rates have come even as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has stayed below its two-week high of 2.95 percent.

Must Read

Fidel Castro thanks Cuba, criticizes Obama, on 90th birthday

Aug 14, 2016

Fidel Castro thanked Cubans for their well-wishes on his 90th birthday and criticized President Barack Obama in a lengthy letter published in state media

Asian stocks climb on signs US rate hike off table for now

Aug 18, 2016

Asian stocks rose Wednesday after Wall Street edged higher on news the U.S. Federal Reserve is in no hurry to raise interest rates

Patent for J&J's Remicade invalidated, cheaper version looms

Aug 17, 2016

A cheaper version of Johnson & Johnson's top-selling drug, the rheumatoid arthritis treatment Remicade, could be available in the U.S. two years early after a federal judge ruled a key patent on the drug invalid

Search

Obserworld delivers the most accurate and up-to-date world news for the global audience with a thorough research and in-depth interviews. Discover the world through Obserworld.

Contact us: sales[at]obserworld.com