Mortgage Rates Inch Up and Hit 9-Month High: 3.09%

By Kerry Smith — Rates broke the 3% barrier two weeks ago and have increased each week since, leading Freddie Mac’s chief economist to call buyer competition “a challenging reality.”

MCLEAN, Va. – The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.09% this week, putting it past the psychologically noteworthy 3% mark for the second week in a row, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates.

“As expected, mortgage rates continued to inch up but are still hovering around 3%, keeping interested buyers in the market,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“However, residential construction has declined for two consecutive months and, given (today’s) very low inventory environment, competition among potential homebuyers is a challenging reality, especially for first-time homebuyers.”

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.09% with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 18, 2021, up from last week’s 3.05%. A year ago, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.65%.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose, averaging 2.40% with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.38%. A year ago, it averaged 3.06%.

And adjustable-rate mortgages moved higher too. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79% with an average 0.3 point, up from last week’s 2.77%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.11%.

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