You certainly do not need to be an economist to realize that inflation is spiraling out of control. At the current moment that this article is being written, the last estimates for inflation put it at 7.9%. In other words, this is a 40-year high! Essentially, the price of basically everything that you buy is now considerably more expensive. With average wage growth obviously not keeping up with this pace, this is certainly putting considerable strain on the American consumer.
In an effort to combat this out of control inflation, the Federal Reserve has embarked on a series of rate hikes this past week. In addition to the modest quarter-point rate increase, the Federal Reserve suggested it would increase interest rates as much as seven times this year as it tries to fight inflation. These hikes will ultimately have an indirect impact on mortgage rates, thus raising them higher.
Average mortgage rates: week of March 17, 2022
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16% (up from 3.85% last week).
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.09% last year.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.39% (up from 3.09% last week).
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.40% last year.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.19% (up from 2.90% last week).
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79% last year.
Overall, home purchase demand has moderated some but still remains strong. Although rising mortgage rates will certainly diminish some buying power, most economists do not foresee a significant slowdown in the housing market this year. With housing inventory continuing to be critically low, high home price pressures will persist throughout the spring home buying season. As always, buyers must act swiftly in this market in order to get a shot on goal during the house hunting process.
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