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Mortgage Applications Hit 4-Year Low as Interest Rates Climb

11 November 2018

15-year FRM this week averaged 4.33 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.23 percent.

For the week ending November 8, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) in the United States averaged 4.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac's newly-released survey. The unadjusted Purchase Index was down by one percent compared to the previous week and was 0.2 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

USA mortgage rates jumped this week to the highest level in nearly eight years, a trend that is pulling down home sales and slowing home price growth.

Rising rates, together with tight housing inventories, have hurt loan demand to buy a home.

Higher rates have kept many would-be home purchasers on the sidelines. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been raising the benchmark borrowing rate to curb inflation and prevent an expanding economy from overheating.

USA mortgage rates reached the highest level since 2011, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, said on Thursday.

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USA borrowers filed the fewest applications to buy a home and to refinance one in almost four years last week as some 30-year mortgage rates increased to their highest levels in about 8-1/2 years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates.

The average rate for five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 4.14 percent from 4 last week.

Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.3 percent while the VA share of total applications increased to 10.1 percent from 9.8 percent and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.