Mortgage rates rise for fourth week straight

Mortgage rates have risen rapidly for the last four weeks, the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac reports.

The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.65 percent for the week of September 20 — the highest since May. Last week, the rate was at 4.60 percent. Last year, it averaged only 3.83 percent.

Courtesy of Freddie Mac

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.11 percent, up from 4.06 percent last week and 3.13 percent last year. A five-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable mortgage is at 3.92 percent, compared to 3.93 percent last week and 3.17 percent last year.

As mortgage rates are up significantly from a year before, they could make buying a home even more challenging than it already is, Freddie Mac warns.

“Mortgage rates are drifting upward again and represent continued affordability challenges for prospective buyers – especially first-time buyers,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a statement. “Borrowing costs are moving right now for three main reasons: the very strong economy, higher U.S. government debt issuances and global trade tensions.” Chief Economist Danielle Hale also expressed similar concerns.

“Higher mortgage rates will undoubtedly contribute to a further slowdown in home price growth as higher costs force buyers to choose smaller, less expensive homes or postpone their search,” Hale said in a statement.

Email Veronika Bondarenko