After early month dip, mortgage rates tick back up in July

Freddie Mac's chief economist says the next few months will be key for gauging the health of the housing market

Mortgage rates are up to their highest level since late June, according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac.

The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.54 percent for the week ending July 26, up from 4.52 percent last week and 3.92 this week last year. A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.02 percent, up from 4 percent last week and 3.20 percent this week last year.

A five-year treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable mortgage averaged 3.87 percent, unchanged from last week but up from the 3.18 percent it was this week last year, according to Freddie Mac.

“The next few months will be key for gauging the health of the housing market,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Existing sales appear to have peaked, sales of newly built homes are slowing and unsold inventory is rising for the first time in three years.”

“Meanwhile, affordability pressures are increasingly a concern in many markets, as the combination of continuous price gains and higher mortgage rates appear to be giving more prospective buyers a pause,” Khater added. “This is why new and existing-home sales are not breaking out this summer despite the healthy economy and labor market.”

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