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2.14.2023 / Gateway in the News

Mortgage Rates Rise for First Time in a Month

By Gina Heeb

Mortgage rates rose at the start of February, snapping a month-long string of declines that had drawn some homebuyers off the sidelines. The average rate on the standard 30-year fixed mortgage edged higher to 6.12%, according to a survey of lenders released Thursday by mortgage-finance giant Freddie Mac. It was 6.09% last week and 3.69% a year ago. Mortgage rates have fallen nearly a percentage point below the peaks they hit this fall, which brought some signs of life to the housing market in recent weeks. Both purchase and refinance applications rose last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. “We’ve definitely seen activity pick up,” said Steven R. Plaisance, president of mortgage banking at Gateway First Bank in Tulsa, Okla. “We’ve started to see both sides—buyers and sellers— understand rates are not going to go down to 3% or 4% anytime soon.” Higher rates have put homeownership out of reach for more Americans because they can add hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments, particularly with home prices still elevated. At the end of 2022, a measure of housing affordability hit the lowest level since the National Association of Homebuilders began to track it in 2012. As seen in The Wall Street Journal

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