Mortgage Rates Surge to Two-Month High

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Written By Nathan Goldstein

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage experienced a sharp rise to 7.14%, as reported by Mortgage News Daily, marking the highest level observed in two months.

This significant jump in rates came after the release of a government report on wholesale prices, which indicated that inflation remains persistent and exceeds analysts’ expectations.

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Impact of Rising Rates on the Housing Market

The upward trajectory in mortgage rates reverses the downward trend witnessed at the end of the previous year. The decrease in rates towards the end of last year sparked optimism in the housing market, leading to a notable increase in home sales.

Newly built homes, in particular, saw an 8% rise in sales in December, primarily driven by more favorable mortgage rates.

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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported improved builder sentiment over the past three months, attributing it to the lower interest rates attracting more buyers to model homes.

NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey emphasized the positive impact of even minor declines in interest rates on potential home purchasers and expressed hope for a continued moderation in mortgage rates to meet the pent-up demand in the market.

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Challenges Posed by the Recent Uptick in Rates

The recent increase in mortgage rates could potentially discourage buyers, particularly as the President’s Day weekend, traditionally considered the start of the spring housing market, approaches.

The stability in rates observed in January had already led to a weakening in signed contracts for existing homes and a decrease in new listings, as per data from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage.

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Matthew Graham, chief operating officer at Mortgage News Daily, offered insights into the recent rate trends, highlighting the positive aspect of rates being nearly a percent lower than their peak in October.

However, he also pointed out the shift from optimism to skepticism regarding the possibility of lower rates in 2024, due to the recent data-driven spikes in rates.


The fluctuation in mortgage rates and its impact on the housing market underscores the sensitivity of potential homebuyers to changes in interest rates and the broader implications of inflation on the economy.

The recent surge in mortgage rates serves as a reminder of the challenges and uncertainties facing the housing market, particularly in the context of the upcoming spring housing season.

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