Mortgage rates rise for 4th consecutive week

The 30-year fixed rate has not been this high since May, says Freddie Mac

Mortgage rates have risen rapidly for the past four weeks, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac.

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.

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 rise, buying a home could become more challenging than it already is, warned Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“Mortgage rates are drifting upward again and represent continued affordability challenges for prospective buyers – especially first-time buyers,” Khater said 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.”

“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.