30-Year Mortgage Rate Jumps to 5.41%

Rapid rate increases have sent monthly payments through the roof

Couple Moving in to New Home

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If you thought it was hard to afford a home before, try it at today’s mortgage rates. 

Mortgage rates continued to shoot up, with the average rate offered for a 30-year fixed rate home loan leaping in a single day to 5.41% from 5.22% to a fresh high since at least 2019, according to lender data provided to The Balance. On March 7, the average rate was 4.32%—more than an entire percentage point lower. (Our daily mortgage rate data only goes back to April 2021, but our data on yearly highs and lows dates back to 2020, so we know rates hadn’t been higher in 2020.)

The increase has had a massive impact on how affordable it is to buy a home: Purchasing a median-priced home—$357,300, according to the National Association of Realtors—at today’s rate, with a 20% down payment, would mean a monthly mortgage payment of $1,607 a month, compared with $1,418 at the March 7 rate. And that calculation doesn’t even include how much home prices have been rocketing up lately.

That’s a world of difference from the winter of 2020-2021, when rates were at record lows according to data from other sources—and as low as 2.89% by The Balance’s data. With rates now going north at such a rapid pace, it’s little wonder that the volume of applications for mortgage refinancing has tanked, and purchase applications are also slowing despite high demand for homes, according to data on Wednesday from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase applications have fallen 7.4% since mortgage rates started their upward trend in earnest at the beginning of the year, while refinances have fallen 50.3% the MBA said. 

Ironically, the Federal Reserve’s campaign to reduce today’s soaring inflation has contributed to the rising cost of home ownership. Mortgage rates generally move in the same direction as yields on 10-year treasuries, which have spiked as the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate in an effort to discourage borrowing and spending and cool down the economy.

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at dhyatt@thebalance.com.

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  1. National Association of Realtors. “Existing Home Sales.”

  2. MBA. “Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey.”

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