This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet. Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have hit yet another high, with lenders offering loans above 8% for the first time since 2000. Mortgage rates have gone up rapidly this year, rising two full percentage points from lows near 6% back in February.
That’s been brutal for home buyers, who have watched their buying power erode. At a 6% interest rate, a buyer looking to spend $2,000 a month on principal and interest could afford a loan of roughly $333,500. With interest rates at 8%, that same buyer can afford only $272,500. Their target home price has dropped $61,000 as more of that monthly payment has to go toward servicing interest. Here’s why mortgage interest rates are so high, and why they could remain elevated. Still, there are ways that home buyers can contend with such a challenging housing market.Why mortgage rates climbed so high A year ago, many housing economists, including in forecasts from Fannie Mae
and the Mortgage Bankers Association, were anticipating that today’s mortgage rates would be in the 5%-6% range. Though that seems wildly off base now, at the time it looked pretty reasonable. “Last year around this time, the Fed was in the midst of hiking interest rates very rapidly,” explains Chen Zhao, head of economic research at Redfin
“And most economic forecasters were really looking at this and saying, OK, this is most likely going to lead to …