The average interest rate on U.S. home loans has risen to its highest level since 2009 as
demand for mortgages remains strong despite increased costs.
According to the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association, the average interest rate on a 30-year
fixed-rate mortgage increased to 5.53% in the week ended May 6, its highest level since the
housing bubble burst in 2008/09, sparking a global financial crisis.
The interest rate on the most popular U.S. mortgage has now risen 242 basis points over the
last 12 months, the sharpest rise in decades. The increase comes despite the U.S. Federal
Reserve raising interest rates to try and dampen demand as it battles a 40-year-high inflation
The U.S. housing market, which has been viewed as overheated for the past two years, is seen
as a rate-sensitive sector and the central bank is trying to reduce its double-digit annual price
That price growth has been fueled by record-low housing stock, high household savings, an
extremely tight labour market, and increased worker mobility.
The Purchase Composite Index, a measure of all U.S. mortgage loan applications for purchase
of a single-family home, increased 4.5% last week from a week earlier. However, that rise was
8% lower than the same week a year ago.