Monthly housing payments hit a record high this week after mortgage rates rose for the first time in more than a month, according to data from real estate brokerage Redfin.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 6.39 percent this week, pushing the typical homebuyer’s monthly payment to $2,538. At the same time a year ago, the average mortgage rate stood at 5.11 percent.
This week’s rise in mortgage rates followed a dip in the number of new homes under construction, which could put even more pressure on would-be buyers.
“There’s not much on the shelves to choose from, and high mortgage rates and still-high prices are making homes too expensive for many buyers,” said Taylor Marr, Redfin’s deputy chief economist, in a news release.
“Some buyers are discouraged by mortgage rates rising this week, which is partly due to stronger-than-expected bank earnings making it more likely the Fed will hike interest rates next month,” he added.
Growing inflation led the Federal Reserve to implement a series of jumbo interest rate hikes that trickled down into the housing market and sent mortgage rates soaring. The 30-year fixed rate peaked at more than 7 percent late last year.
Since then, average mortgage rates have settled and declined for five straight weeks before creeping up again this week.
Redfin’s report also showed that while payments reached new heights this week, median sale prices fell year-over-year by the most in a decade at 2.6 percent. Home sales prices dropped in 30 of the 50 most populous metros, with the largest decline reported in Austin, Texas.
Meanwhile, separate data shows nationwide home sales are plunging, falling by 22 percent in March from the same time last year.
Monthly existing home sales, which include transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dipped by 2.4 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.4 million, according to figures the National Association of Realtors released Thursday.
“Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. It’s a unique housing market.”