[Fox Business] Mortgage rates climb for fourth straight week

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Mortgage rates continue to march higher, climbing again for the fourth consecutive week.

Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday showed that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage climbed to 6.94% this week, up from 6.90% last week. The average rate on a 30-year loan was 6.65% a year ago.

But the average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage fell a bit to 6.26% after coming in last week at 6.29%. One year ago, the rate on the 15-year fixed note averaged 5.89%.

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“The recent boomerang in rates has dampened already tentative homebuyer momentum as we approach the spring, a historically busy season for homebuying,” Freddie Mac chief economist Sam Khater said in a statement. 

“While sales of newly built homes are trending in a positive direction, higher rates and elevated prices continue to pose affordability challenges that may leave potential homebuyers on the sidelines,” Khater added.

HAVE KIDS? GOOD LUCK BUYING A HOUSE THIS YEAR

Buying activity tends to pick up in the spring following slower winter months, but elevated rates and sky-high home prices have stalled the housing market as more would-be buyers and sellers are priced out or opting not to move.

Housing demand has ground to a halt as rates move higher. Applications for a mortgage to purchase a home dropped 5% from last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. 

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Application volume is down 12% compared with the same time last year.

FOX Business’ Megan Henney contributed to this report.

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