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US mortgage rates soar again, reaching highest since late 2018

A For Sale sign is displayed in front of a house in Washington, DC, on March 31, 2022.STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

Mortgage rates in the US continued their steep ascent, reaching a level not seen since December 2018.

The average for a 30-year loan was 4.67 percent, up from 4.42 percent last week, Freddie Mac said in a statement Thursday.

Rates are up more than a percentage point in the past two months, a dizzying rise that has surprised many industry experts. Higher borrowing costs have stretched the budgets of prospective homebuyers and, along with soaring prices, shut some out of the market altogether.

The average 30-year rate hit a record low of 2.65 percent in January 2021, a slide that fueled fierce demand for purchases. Now rates are approaching 5 percent, a mark that hasn’t been reached in more than a decade.

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Borrowers with a $300,000 mortgage would pay $1,551 at the current 30-year average. That’s up $250 from the start of the year.

The Federal Reserve lifted the benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point this month, with more hikes possible in the months to come to fight inflation at the highest rate since the 1980s.