According to Bloomberg.com, US mortgage rates climbed for the first time in nearly a month; this increased the cost of borrowing and caused home sales to be the lowest levels on record. The 30-year fixed rate rose to 5.05%, up from 4.93%.
“This is potentially a preview of the data we’ll have to watch over the next few months,” Donald Rissmiller, Chief Economist at Strategas Research Partners in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Big changes are on the horizon that are going to be critical for the economy.”
Mortgage rates may rise further when a Federal Reserve program to purchase as much as $1.25 trillion in mortgage-backed securities ends next month. The program is credited with helping reduce mortgage rates, which fell to a record low of 4.71 percent in December.