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Mortgage rate soars after strong economic data


A sign advertising home mortgage services at a Bank of America branch in Manhattan Beach, Calif.Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty ImagesThe average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage hit 7.22% on Thursday, according to Mortgage News Daily. That’s the highest point since early November.Mortgage rates follow loosely the yield on the 10-year Treasury, which leapt higher following a much stronger-than-expected employment report from ADP.Rates had already begun rising last week, following signals from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank may continue raising interest rates following a pause in June.In remarks to Congress just after the June Fed meeting, Powell said the central bank has “a long way to go” to bring inflation back to the 2% goal. The next interest rate decision is on July 26.The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has now risen 31 basis points in just the past week. For a homebuyer taking out a $400,000 mortgage, the monthly payment of principal and interest rose to $2,720 from $2,637 in just one week.For sellers, higher mortgage rates have created a so-called golden handcuff effect. The vast majority of homeowners today have mortgages with interest rates below 4% or even below 3%, as rates hit record lows in the first year of the Covid pandemic. They now don’t want to move and have to give up that low rate to buy at a higher rate.”Recent data indicated that nearly 82% of home shoppers reported feeling locked-in by their existing low-rate mortgage, while around 1 in 7 homeowners without a selling plan cited their current low rate as their reason for remaining on the sidelines,” Jiayi Xu, an economist at Realtor.com, said in a release.Because of that, there is a currently a critical shortage of homes for sale, with year-to-date new listings now 20% behind last year’s pace.

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