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U.S. mortgage rates surge to highest level in 20 years

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The average mortgage rate has surged to 7.09%, a level not seen in over 20 years.

The latest data, released on Thursday by mortgage giant Freddie Mac, underlines the escalating borrowing costs that have thrown a wrench in the gears of the housing sector.

This uptick marks a pivotal juncture as the rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage climbs above 7% for the first time since the prior autumn, juxtaposing with rates hovering around 5% merely a year ago.

The Federal Reserve’s deliberate push towards higher rates has profoundly impacted the housing realm. As borrowing and purchasing activity slackened due to elevated costs, the housing market has witnessed a palpable slowdown.

This sluggishness has had far-reaching repercussions, leading to substantial layoffs within the mortgage industry and placing strain on overall economic growth.

While not directly linked to the central bank’s maneuvers, mortgage rates exhibit a loose correlation with the trajectory of the 10-year Treasury yield. Thursday’s data reveals that the 10-year yield reached its highest point since 2007. Analysts argue that this may herald further yield hikes, as markets brace themselves for the possibility that rates will remain elevated.

As a consequence, stock markets experienced a decline on Thursday, extending a downward trend observed throughout August, with investor concerns rekindled about continuous Fed rate increases. The minutes from recent Fed meetings reveal that officials maintain their view of inflation risks and the potential necessity for heightened interest rates.

Rising costs

The initial anticipation was that the rising cost of borrowing to secure homes would be transient when the Federal Reserve embarked on a series of interest rate hikes last year.

However, the trajectory has proved otherwise, as rates are now resuming their ascent towards earlier peaks. This resurgence is notwithstanding a brief dip towards 6% in late 2022 and early 2023. Consequently, various stakeholders in the real estate market, from buyers and sellers to investors, are acclimating to the reality of enduring elevated rates.

Prospective buyers find themselves grappling with affordability challenges, as limited options within their budget range hinder their ability to enter the market. Conversely, potential sellers are often hesitant to list their homes due to the reluctance to relinquish low-rate mortgages for more expensive loan options.

Homeowners who recently secured high-rate mortgages with the expectation of swift refinancing are now forced to reconcile with an extended wait. This climate has prompted some potential buyers to delay their plans and continue renting, perpetuating the cycle of high demand and limited supply, which consequently exerts upward pressure on prices.

Existing homes

The median price of existing homes, according to the National Association of Realtors, stood at over $410,000 in June. Though slightly below the previous year’s peak, this figure still ranks as the second-highest ever recorded.

In response to the current state of affairs, Arnell Brady II, a senior loan officer at Bay Equity Home Loans, remarked, “Across the board, most consumers are on the sidelines… They are waiting for the market to improve before they jump back in.”

In the backdrop of historic lows during the pandemic, with rates plummeting below 3%, a wave of buying surged across the United States, driving prices upward, particularly in regions such as Phoenix and Las Vegas.

However, with rates now surging and many workers returning to their physical workplaces, previously hot real estate markets are witnessing a cooling trend. Median home prices in Austin, Texas, and San Francisco have notably declined, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Mortgage rates’ palpable impact cannot be underestimated. A comparison between a 4% mortgage rate and a 7% mortgage rate, for instance, illustrates the stark difference in the overall interest paid over a 30-year loan period.

The housing market’s dynamics have shifted notably due to individuals like Stephen Williams, who opted not to sell their homes, contributing to a decline in national transactions. Sales of existing homes, the backbone of the housing market, have dropped by 19% compared to the previous year.

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Boeing face delivery delays following guilty criminal charge plea

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Boeing’s deliveries are down after months of controversy, is it because they can’t make the planes, or because airlines right now don’t want them?

Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with the investigation into two fatal crashes involving its 737 MAX aircraft.

Boeing reported a significant 27% decrease in deliveries for June compared to the same month last year, possibly attributing the decrease to the companies ongoing controversies.

Aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas joins to discuss. #featured

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Money

Blockchain sparks a transformative influence in Australia

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Professor unveils blockchain’s role in transforming the economy and innovative projects taking place at RMIT University.

Crypto Corner explores the latest market movements, expert insights and the influence of macroeconomic factors on the crypto industry.

Crypto Corner is hosted by Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets.

In this episode, BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler interviews Professor Chris Berg, Director of RMIT Digital3 and Co-Founder of the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT University. They discuss RMIT’s cutting-edge projects and the transformative impact of blockchain technology in Australia.

Professor Berg shares insights into RMIT’s Digital3 philosophy, which combines research, innovation, and collaboration to drive the digital economy. Learn about groundbreaking initiatives in blockchain, cyber security, and AI, and how these disruptive technologies are reshaping business, government, and society.

Discover how RMIT is leading the charge in rethinking and regenerating the way we work through world-class research and tailored education, offering a glimpse into the future of technology and its potential to benefit both the economy and society. #crypto corner

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From $25K to $1.5M in real estate: expert unveils game-changing strategy for investors

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Empower your property investing with these key tips

Wyld Money dives into the world of financial freedom. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just getting started, join us for actionable tips and tricks to unlock your earning potential, and retire on your own terms.

In this episode, Mark is joined by Dean Fraser, Founder and CEO of BrickFloor. #trending #wyld money

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