Mortgage rates started the week at a steep 3.75 percent for 30-year fixed rates, with 10-year and 15-year fixed rates reaching 3 percent for the first time in over a year.
Rates were beginning to rise last week, while experts called out to borrowers to purchase or refinance immediately to lock in current rates while they could.
This week, experts are once again pointing to predictions that are becoming true: Rates are rising this year.
Mortgage rates are reaching early pandemic levels, when there was a brief spike before a steep plummet that continued throughout 2021.
Mortgage experts say the reasons behind this week’s rate jump have to do with recent Federal Reserve actions and the latest Covid variant news.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that inflation is posing a serious threat to the job market, so the Fed will be raising interest rates faster in efforts to curb the effects.
Meanwhile, news of the Covid omicron variant’s less-severe symptoms caused bond yields to rise.
While these increases don’t directly lead to mortgage rate increases, they are influenced by similar factors.
Every rate increase does make a dent, experts say. Monthly mortgage payments on median-priced homes, with a 20 percent down payment, could be over $100 more per month this week than just a few weeks ago.
Over the lifetime of the loan, that’s thousands of dollars.
While mortgage purchase rates for 10-year fixed rates reached 3 percent, refinance rates were hovering around 2.75 percent.
Borrowers looking for a rate below 3 percent still have opportunities to refinance and save, especially if they are looking to cash out on their equity.
Experts still are trying to determine where home prices will land in 2022, especially as rates rise and inventory fluctuates.
However, the majority anticipate that home prices will remain high this year, leaving plenty of opportunity for refinancing and using a cash-out to make home improvements.
Mortgage rates fluctuate often from day to day — and even throughout the day. By mid-week, rates had dipped back down to 3.44 percent.
Mortgage experts encourage consumers to not put too much weight on these fluctuations, and to instead talk to their loan officer about their personal financial situation to make the best decisions.
However, they also advise that it doesn’t hurt to run to a lender when rates dip even slightly, because locking in a lower rate now — during a period when rates are expected to rise — could help in the long run.