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Mortgage rates continue to hover near highest level since 2000

Freddie Mac said on Thursday that mortgage rates paused their multi-week climb last week, but continued to hover near the highest level in two decades.

Mortgage rates stopped their unrelenting upward climb last week, but continued to hover near the highest level in more than two decades.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped slightly to 7.76%, down 0.03% from the previous week. The rate remains well above the 7.08% recorded just one year ago and the pandemic-era lows of 3%.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage – which is more popular among homeowners who choose to refinance – unchanged at 7.03%.

MORTGAGE CALCULATOR: SEE HOW MUCH HIGHER RATES COULD COST YOU

The astronomical rise in mortgage rates over the past year came as the Federal Reserve waged an aggressive campaign to crush high inflation. In the span of just 16 months, the central bank approved 11 rate increases – the fastest pace of tightening since the 1980s.

High mortgage rates have throttled consumer demand, with the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) index of mortgage applications plummeting last week to the lowest level since 1995.

They are also weighing heavily on supply. That is because sellers who locked in a low mortgage rate before the pandemic have been reluctant to sell with rates continuing to hover near a two-decade high, leaving few options for eager would-be buyers.

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A recent report from Realtor.com shows that the total number of homes for sale, including those that were under contract but not yet sold, fell by 4% in September, compared with the same time a year ago. 

Available home supply remains down a stunning 45.1% from the typical amount before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, according to the report. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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