Mortgage rates, now at a 20-year high, combined with inflation and stock market volatility are causing housing markets to soften quickly. The next several months will be a critical test for the economy, experts say.
Until then, the economy is at a crossroads. “We continue to see a tale of two economies in the data: Strong job and wage growth are keeping consumers’ balance sheets positive while lingering inflation, recession fears and housing affordability are driving housing demand down precipitously,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The next several months will undoubtedly be important for the economy and the housing market.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 13:
*30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.92%, with an average 0.8 point, rising from last week’s 6.66% average. Last year at this time, they averaged 3.05%.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.09%, with an average 1.1 point, increasing from last week’s 5.90% average. A year ago, they averaged 2.30%.
Source: Freddie Mac