July 18, 2024

Mortgage rates shot up this week. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached 5.89%, surpassing its June peak, according to Freddie Mac. The average 15-year fixed rate climbed above 5% for the first time since 2008. 
Rates have increased dramatically over the past few weeks as the Federal Reserve has vowed to continue aggressively raising the federal funds rate for as long as it needs to bring inflation down to an acceptable level.
When rates are high, it becomes even more important for borrowers to shop around and compare offers from multiple lenders, to ensure you’re getting the lowest rate available to you.
“Not only are mortgage rates rising but the dispersion of rates has increased, suggesting that borrowers can meaningfully benefit from shopping around for a better rate,” Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said in a statement on this week’s rates. “Our research indicates that borrowers could save an average of $1,500 over the life of a loan by getting one additional rate quote and an average of about $3,000 if they get five quotes.”
Use our free mortgage calculator to see how today’s mortgage rates will affect your monthly and long-term payments.
By plugging in different term lengths and interest rates, you’ll see how your monthly payment could change.
Mortgage rates started ticking up from historic lows in the second half of 2021 and have increased significantly so far in 2022. More recently, rates have been relatively volatile.
In the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index rose by 8.5%. The Federal Reserve has been working to get inflation under control, and plans to increase the federal funds target rate three more times this year, following increases in March, May, June, and July.
Though not directly tied to the federal funds rate, mortgage rates are sometimes pushed up as a result of Fed rate hikes and investor expectations of how those hikes will impact the economy.
Inflation remains elevated, but has started to slow, which is a good sign for mortgage rates and the broader economy.
When mortgage rates go up, home shoppers’ buying power decreases, as more of their anticipated housing budget has to go toward paying interest. If rates get high enough, buyers can get priced out of the market completely, which cools demand and puts downward pressure on home price growth.
However, that doesn’t mean home prices will fall — in fact, they’re expected to rise even more this year, just at a slower pace than what we’ve seen in the past couple of years.
Even with fewer buyers in the market, those who can afford to buy will still be competing over historically low inventory. When there are more buyers than there are houses available, home prices go up. So while conditions may loosen up a bit due to high rates, we aren’t likely to see a significant drop in prices.
It can be hard to know if a lender is offering you a good rate, which is why it’s so important to get preapproved with multiple mortgage lenders and compare each offer. Apply for preapproval with at least two or three lenders.
Your rate isn’t the only thing that matters. Be sure to compare both what your monthly costs would be as well as your upfront costs, including any lender fees.
Even though mortgage rates are heavily influenced by economic factors that are out of your control, there are some things you can do to help ensure you get a good rate:

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards.
Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.
**Enrollment required.

source

About Author