Here's some more bad news for home buyers: It's getting even more expensive to buy a home.
The average rate of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped to 4.40% this week — the highest level since April 2014, according to Freddie Mac's latest report. This is the seventh consecutive week of higher mortgage rates.
That upward pressure comes at a bad time: home buying season, typically spring through the end of summer.
Higher interest rates make it more expensive to borrow money. At the current interest rates, buyers will pay $52 more a month compared to the start of the year when rates were at 3.95%, assuming a $247,800 price tag and 20% down payment.
The higher rates will make house hunting even tougher: Wanna-be homeowners are already facing significant headwinds thanks to low housing supply.
Competition is pretty fierce and those that are looking may be disappointed this spring. They are seeing prices move higher and interest rates are up, which could mean you can now afford less.
Home prices nationwide are up 48% since 2011, and at the same time, incomes have only risen 15% - this is creating a real affordability challenge.
Mortgage rates track tend to track closely with the 10-year Treasury yield, which has been climbing due to the improving economy, stronger inflation and the ballooning federal deficit. If inflation heats up too much, the Federal Reserve may be forced to aggressively raise rates.
Treasury notes serve as a benchmark for different types of credit, including home and car loans.
While mortgage rates have been rising, they are still historically low: they haven't been above 5% since 2011.
However, experts do expect rates to continue to rise throughout the year and possibly hit 5% by the end of the year. Higher rates will only make the affordability problem worse.
It is expected for buyers to remain a large pool, but also many more will be priced out of the market...since home prices don't seem to be slowing down. Looking at the spring home buying season, it’s going to be a survival of the fittest. Those with larger down payments and better credit will be successful.
There could be some slight relief coming: New home construction is starting to pick up, which could help with home prices.
2017 was a stellar year for new housing starts and permits, if some of that makes its way on to the market - that might help a little bit in terms of inventory issues.