Rates for home loans crept higher, snapping a three-week stretch of declines, even as bond yields remained subdued.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.53% during the July 12 week, up one basis point, according to the weekly data from mortgage provider Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99%, up from 4.02%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.86%, up 12 basis points.
Mortgage rates track the 10-year U.S. Treasury note, which has been under pressure as investors snatch up safe haven assets in the face of an escalating global trade war. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.
But Ben Graboske, who heads the data and analytics group at real estate data provider Black Knight, is keeping a cautious eye on rates.
“Most people assume affordability relates mostly to house prices,” Graboske told MarketWatch. “When you look at affordability through a price lens, it’s easy to understand why people are surprised that we say affordability is good.”
Affordability is a function of three factors: house prices, rates, and income, and the biggest wildcard right now is rates, Graboske said. “We’re in a period of great uncertainty around the interest rate and that can have a whopper effect.”
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