With the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac climbing above 3%, rising rates are one of the topics dominating the discussion in the housing market today. And since experts project rates will rise further in the coming months, that conversation isn’t going away any time soon.
But as a homebuyer, what do rates above 3% really mean?
Today’s Average Mortgage Rate Still Presents Buyers with a Great Opportunity
Buyers don’t want mortgage rates to rise, as any upward movement increases your monthly mortgage payment. But it’s important to put today’s average mortgage rate into perspective. The graph below shows today’s rate in comparison to average rates over the last five years:
As the graph shows, even though today’s rate is above 3%, it’s still incredibly competitive.
But today’s rate isn’t just low when compared to the most recent years. To truly put today into perspective, let’s look at the last 50 years (see graph below):
When we look back even further, we can see that today’s rate is truly outstanding by comparison.
What Does That Mean for You?
Being upset that you missed out on sub-3% mortgage rates is understandable. But it’s important to realize, buying now still makes sense as experts project rates will continue to rise. And as rates rise, it will cost more to purchase a home.
As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains:
“Rising mortgage rates, all else equal, will diminish house-buying power, meaning it will cost more per month for a borrower to buy ‘their same home.’”
In other words, the longer you wait, the more it will cost you.