Mortgage Rates at Highest Level Since 2001

30-year figure jumps to 7.23%, and it may keep rising
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 24, 2023 12:47 PM CDT
Mortgage Rates at Highest Mark in Two Decades
   (Getty / Jeff Manes)

The average long-term US mortgage rate climbed further above 7% this week to its highest level since 2001, another blow to would-be homebuyers grappling with rising home prices and a stubbornly low supply of properties on the market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan climbed to 7.23% from 7.09% last week, per the AP. A year ago, the rate averaged 5.55%. It's the fifth consecutive weekly increase for the average rate, which is now at its highest level since early June 2001, when it averaged 7.24%.

High rates can add hundreds of dollars a month in costs for borrowers, limiting how much they can afford in a market already unaffordable to many Americans. They also discourage homeowners who locked in low rates two years ago from selling. "This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached its highest level since 2001 and indications of ongoing economic strength will likely continue to keep upward pressure on rates in the short-term," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage remains more than double what it was two years ago, when it was just 2.87%. Those ultra-low rates spurred a wave of home sales and refinancing. The sharply higher rates now are contributing to a dearth of available homes, as homeowners who locked in those lower borrowing costs two years ago are now reluctant to sell and jump into a higher rate on a new property. It's a key reason new home listings were down nearly 21% nationally in July from a year earlier, according to

(More mortgage rates stories.)

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