30-Year Mortgage Rate Hits 4% Milestone

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

4.01%

That’s the average 30-year mortgage rate, according to lender data showing interest rates in 4% territory for the first time since 2020.

Rates in the 4% neighborhood are still pretty low by historic standards, but are well above the bargain basement 2.89% they hit in December 2020, according to daily lender data provided to The Balance. The super-low rates of the pandemic era had helped counter the effect of rapidly rising prices, but increasingly, the higher borrowing costs are discouraging prospective buyers unable to afford to buy a home.

Inflation is to blame for the rate increases, though in a somewhat indirect way. Fixed-rate mortgage rates tend to follow the movements of 10-year Treasury yields, which have surged in 2022 amid investor concerns about decades-high inflation. In recent days they’ve continued to rise, fueled by signals that central banks for England and the European Union will be moving aggressively to clamp down on inflation, just as the Federal Reserve has said it’s about to do

Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at dhyatt@thebalance.com.

Article Sources

  1. Freddie Mac. "Mortgage Rates Remain Unchanged from Last Week." Accessed Feb. 4, 2022.