The average rate for the 30-year fixed mortgage just crossed the 5% threshold, now at 5.02%, according to CNBC. This time last year, they stood at 3.38%.
Mortgage rates, which loosely follow the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury, have been climbing since the start of the year, in part due to the Federal Reserve's policies to curb inflation and the global economic turmoil resulting from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"It is of paramount importance to get inflation down," Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said, according to AFP. "Accordingly, the committee will continue tightening monetary policy methodically through a series of interest rate increases and by starting to reduce the balance sheet at a rapid pace as soon as our May meeting."
"To hear her speak about bond-buying adjustments in such blunt, urgent terms is unsettling for the market with just over 24 hours to go before we see the minutes from the most recent Fed meeting," according to Mortgage News Daily COO Matthew Graham. "At this point, traders are taking Brainard's comments to foreshadow an extremely unfriendly conversation about bond buying to be revealed in the minutes."
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