The average interest rate on long-term mortgages in the United States remained stable this week, after the Federal Reserve suggested it would start tightening credit by raising its benchmark rate
By MATT OTT AP Business Writer
2 December 2021, 15:15
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SILVER SPRING, Maryland – The average interest rate on long-term mortgages in the United States remained stable this week, after the Federal Reserve suggested it would start tightening credit by raising its benchmark rate.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average 30-year fixed-rate benchmark home loan rate rose slightly to 3.11% from 3.10% last week. A year ago, the rate was 2.71%.
The boiling US housing market has been fueled by low interest rates and pent-up demand from consumers who have spent much of the past year and a half stranded in their homes and looking for more space. However, a limited supply of available housing and a sharp rise in prices have left many potential buyers on the sidelines.
Earlier this week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled a sharp shift towards a credit crunch faster than the Fed previously indicated. Powell said on Tuesday that it would be appropriate for the central bank to consider ramping up its bond purchases at its next meeting in mid-December. This would pave the way for a hike in its key rate by the Fed in the spring.
Many economists expect U.S. interest rates to rise in the coming months as the Fed pulls out of the easy money policies it adopted after the coronavirus outbreak ravaged the economy American in the spring of 2020.
Strong consumer demand and persistent supply shortages have pushed up prices for just about everything. The government announced last month that prices for U.S. consumers jumped 6.2% in October from a year earlier, resulting in the highest rate of inflation since 1990.
Freddie Mac reported that 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates edged down to 2.39% from 2.42% last week. This rate was 2.26% a year ago.
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