(Bloomberg) — Mortgage rates climbed for the fourth consecutive week, reaching the highest level since the start of the pandemic.
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The average for a 30-year loan was 3.56%, up from 3.45% last week and the highest since mid-March 2020, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.
Rates followed a recent jump in yields for 10-year Treasuries. Borrowing costs may continue to increase as the Federal Reserve eyes a rate hike to dampen surging inflation.
That could put the American dream of owning a home further out of reach for those already struggling to find affordable options. Rates plummeted to a record low roughly a year ago, and cheap borrowing costs have helped fuel a red-hot housing market that’s pumped up real estate prices.
“As a result of higher mortgage rates, purchase demand has modestly waned in advance of the spring homebuying season,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac chief economist, said in a statement. “However, supply remains near historically tight levels and home prices remain high.”
Still, borrowing costs may level off in the coming weeks, according to Keith Gumbinger, vice president at mortgage-information company HSH.com.
“We’re starting to see signs that we might be topping out on rates,” Gumbinger said in an interview. “The Federal Reserve has made a bit of a shift, but it’s not clear if the shift has completed yet.”
(Updates with Gumbinger comment in last two paragraphs.)
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