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Buyers Should Shop for a Mortgage as Rates Rise

Experts say borrowers stand to save from around $1,500 to $3000 by comparison shopping and gathering multiple quotes from lenders.

WASHINGTON – As mortgage rates surge and remain volatile, it’s becoming increasingly necessary for home buyers to shop around for a loan to find savings. According to Freddie Mac, borrowers potentially could save an average of $1,500 over the life of a loan by gathering one additional rate quote from a lender. And borrowers could save even more by gathering five different quotes from lenders—up to $3,000, Freddie Mac research shows.

Every dollar may help as housing affordability reaches a critical threshold. The typical U.S. household will no longer be able to afford a median-priced home when mortgage rates reach 5.7%, Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) predicted last week.

This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage pushed to an average of 5.89%. That means the typical household must now spend more than 25% of their income on mortgage payments, a level most financial experts consider to be cost-burdened, Evangelou notes.

“Mortgage rates rose again as markets continue to manage the prospect of more aggressive monetary policy due to elevated inflation,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Not only are mortgage rates rising but the dispersion of rates has increased, suggesting that borrowers can meaningfully benefit from shopping around for a better rate.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Sept. 8:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.89%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 5.66% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.88%.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.16%, with an average 0.8 point, increasing from last week’s 4.98% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.19%.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 4.64%, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 4.51% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.42%.

Freddie Mac reports commitment rates with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.

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