US Mortgage Rates Fall for a Second Week but Remain Elevated at 6.58%

In the week ending November 24, mortgage rates fell for a second consecutive week. 30-year fixed mortgage rates slipped by 0.03% to 6.58%, following a 47-basis point tumble in the previous week.

Following the latest decline, rates are up 159 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 348 basis points year-over-year.

Economic Data from the Week

In the early part of the week, there were no US economic indicators to influence US Treasury yields and US mortgage rates. Freddie Mac’s weekly survey was for the week ending Tuesday, November 22, because of the US Thanksgiving holidays.

Bets of a Fed pivot continued to support a pullback in mortgage rates ahead of a busy Wednesday session.

However, it was a busier mid-week session on the economic calendar, with US private sector PMIs, weekly jobless claims, and consumer sentiment figures in focus. The stats supported the market bets of a December Fed pivot. Significantly, the Services PMI fell from 47.8 to 46.1, with the weekly jobless claims up from 223k to 240k.

Despite Fed monetary policy moves, labor market conditions remain robust, supporting consumer confidence and spending. The November Michigan State Consumer Sentiment numbers reflected the mood, rising from 54.7 to 56.8.

On Wednesday, the FOMC meeting minutes also delivered a pullback in US Treasury yields, with Committee members talking about slowing the pace of rate hikes.

The weak economic Indicators and the FOMC meeting minute should support another pullback in mortgage rates for the week ending November 30.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of November 23, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates slipped by three basis points to 6.58%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.10%.
  • 15-year fixed rates fell by eight basis points to 5.90%. Rates were up by 348 basis points from 2.42% a year ago.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates continued to fall, though increased mortgage rate volatility has tested buyer demand.
  • After rising above 7%, rates have tumbled by half a percentage point in a few weeks.
  • Building permit figures reflected uncertainty over demand, with permits sliding by 3.3% in November.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending November 18, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances decreased from 6.90% to 6.67%. Points rose from 0.56 to 0.68 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA fell from 6.93% to 6.66%. Points increased from 0.99 to 1.01 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances decreased from 6.51% to 6.30%. Points rose from 0.64 to 0.74 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.2% in the week ending November 18. The Index increased by 2.7% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index increased by 2% and was 86% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index declined by 2%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 27.6% to 28.4%. The refinance share fell from 28.1% to 27.6% in the previous week.

According to the MBA,

  • 30-year fixed rates fell for a second consecutive week and are now down almost 50 basis points from the most recent peak of 7.16%.
  • The downward trend in mortgage rates should support purchasing power.
  • Both purchase and refinance applications rose last week, though refinance activity remains more than 80% below levels seen a year ago.

For the week ahead

It is a relatively quiet first half of the week. Consumer confidence figures will draw interest ahead of another busy Wednesday. On Wednesday, ADP nonfarm employment change, inflation, and JOLTs job openings will provide US Treasuries and mortgage rates direction.

From the week prior, the FOMC meeting minutes will set the tone, however. The latest minutes and last week’s stats have refueled bets of a Fed December pivot. This weekend, the probability of a 75-basis point December rate hike stood at 24.2%, unchanged from last weekend.

While the stats will influence, FOMC member chatter will also drive yields. FOMC members have delivered mixed signals since the last FOMC meeting, leaving some uncertainty for the markets to tackle.

US Mortgage Rates Slump in Response to CPI Numbers and Fed Pivot Bets

In the week ending November 17, mortgage rates fell for the third time in seven weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates tumbled by 47 basis points to 6.61%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates increase by 13 basis points to 7.08%.

Following the latest slide, rates are up 162 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 351 basis points year-over-year.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a busier first half of the week on the economic calendar, with US wholesale inflation and retail sales the material stats of the week.

The numbers delivered mixed results. While wholesale inflation figures supported the bets of a Fed pivot in December, retail sales figures impressed, suggesting room for more front-loading.

In October, the wholesale annual inflation rate softened from 8.4% to 8.0%, while retail sales increased by 1.3%, month-on-month.

However, the previous week’s US CPI report sent mortgage rates tumbling. In October, the US annual inflation rate softened from 8.2% to 7.7%, fueling market bets of a December Fed pivot.

In response to the report, the probability of a 75-basis point December rate hike fell to 17.0%. This morning, the likelihood of a 75-basis point December rate hike stood at 24.2%.

Hawkish Fed chatter in the week supported an upswing that could nudge mortgage rates higher in the week ahead. According to the FedWatch Tool, the probability of a 75-basis point rate hike stood at 19.4% one week earlier and 75.4% one month earlier.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of November 17, 2022, quoted by Freddie Mac were:

  • 30-year fixed rates tumbled by 47 basis points to 6.61%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.10%.
  • 15-year fixed rates slid by 40 basis points to 5.98%. Rates were up by 359 basis points from 2.39% a year ago.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates slumped due to inflation figures that suggested US inflation may have peaked.
  • Despite the fall in mortgage rates, the housing market has a bumpy road ahead.
  • Inflation remains elevated, and the Fed will likely keep interest rates at elevated levels to bring inflation to target.
  • Consumers will continue to feel the impact of the inflation and Fed monetary policy environment.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending November 11, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances decreased from 7.14% to 6.90%. Points fell from 0.77 to 0.56 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.86% to 6.93%. Points decreased from 1.37 to 0.99 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.50% to 6.51%. Points fell from 0.78 to 0.64 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.7% in the week ending November 11. The Index decreased by 0.1% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index declined by 2% and was 88% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index slid by 4%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 28.1% to 27.6%. The refinance share fell from 28.6% to 28.1% in the previous week.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates decreased on signs of slower inflation, sending Treasury yields lower.
  • The 30-year fixed rate saw the most marked weekly decline since mid-2022.
  • Adjusted application activity increased in response to falling rates.
  • However, the average purchase loan size fell to its smallest amount since 2021, with refinance activity under pressure.

For the week ahead

It is a busy first half of the week on the economic data front. The Wednesday session will provide Treasuries ahead of the Thursday Thanksgiving holiday.

Michigan consumer sentiment, core durable goods, private sector PMIs, and jobless claims will be in focus.

While the stats will influence near term mortgage rates, FOMC member chatter will also need consideration. Following hawkish Fed chatter from last week, more of the same could refuel bets of a 75-basis point Fed rate hike in December. While softer, inflation remains elevated.

With the US unemployment rate at 3.7%, the Fed still has plenty of wriggle room to deliver another 75-basis point hike before taking its foot off the gas. However, disappointing private sector PMIs, a slide in consumer sentiment, and a sharp rise in jobless claims could change the narrative.

US Mortgage Rates Return to 7% Following the October CPI Report

In the week ending November 10, mortgage rates rose for the tenth time in twelve weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates increased by 13 basis points to 7.08%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates fell by 13 basis points to 6.95%.

Following the latest increase, rates are up 209 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 410 basis points year-over-year.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a particularly quiet first half of the week on the economic calendar, with no economic indicators influencing US Treasuries and yields.

The lack of stats left the markets to consider Fed pivot bets ahead of Thursday’s heavily anticipated US CPI report.

Ahead of the CPI report, bets of a 75-basis point rate hike were evenly split, allowing the upswing in mortgage rates. Hawkish Fed Chair Powell comments from the week prior resonated.

However, while rates were up in the week, the US CPI report for October will likely sink mortgage rates this week. The US annual inflation rate softened from 8.2% to 7.7% in October. The markets responded strongly to the numbers, with the probability of a December 75-basis point interest rate hike falling from 48% to 17.0%.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of November 10, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 13 basis points to 7.08%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.98%. The average fee increased from 0.8 points to 0.9 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by nine basis points to 6.38%. Rates were up by 411 basis points from 2.27% a year ago. The average fee decreased from 1.2 points to 1.0 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates increased by 11 basis points to 6.06%. Rates were up by 353 basis points from 2.53% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.2 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • The housing market is the most interest-sensitive segment of the US economy.
  • Homebuyers continue to face the impact of rates as home sales slide at the year-end.
  • Freddie Mac does not see housing market conditions improving before the end of the year.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending November 4, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 7.06% to 7.14%. Points rose from 0.73 to 0.77 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.70% to 6.86%. Points increased from 1.18 to 1.37 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances decreased from 6.55% to 6.50%. Points rose from 0.70 to 0.78 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 0.1% in the week ending November 4. The Index increased by 1% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index fell by 4% and was 87% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index increased by 0.2%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined from 28.6% to 28.1%. The refinance share increased from 28.2% to 28.6% in the previous week.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates increased in response to the Fed rate hike to tackle inflation.
  • The 30-year fixed rate remained above seven percent for the third consecutive week.
  • Purchase applications rose for the first time in seven weeks but remained close to 2015 lows.
  • Higher rates and economic uncertainty left prospective homebuyers on the sidelines.

For the week ahead

It is a quiet start to the week on the economic data front. On Tuesday, wholesale inflation figures will draw interest ahead of retail sales on Wednesday.

However, following last week’s US CPI report and bets of a December pivot, the numbers are unlikely to offset the effects of the CPI report on yields and mortgage rates.

In contrast, FOMC member chatter could shift sentiment. While the markets have bet on a Fed pivot, inflation remains elevated. With an unemployment rate of 3.7% and better-than-expected economic growth in Q3, the hawks may talk up the need for another 75-basis point hike before taking the foot off the gas.

FOMC members Waller, Brainard, Cook, Barr, and Williams speak this week.

US Mortgage Rate Decline to Sub-7% Provides Little Home Buyer Relief

In the week ending November 3, mortgage rates fell for the second time in eleven weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates declined by 13 basis points to 6.95%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates increased by 14 basis points to 7.09%.

Following the latest decline, rates are up 196 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 386 basis points year-over-year.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a busy week on the economic calendar, with US economic indicators and the Fed in the spotlight.

The US JOLTs job openings and ADP Nonfarm Employment change figures suggested more wriggle room for the Fed to front-load rate hikes. In contrast, survey-based data painted a gloomier picture, easing bets of a 75-basis point Fed rate hike in December.

While the stats influence, the Fed policy decision on Wednesday caught the markets off-guard. In line with expectations, the Fed delivered a 75-basis point rate hike. However, Fed Chair Powell poured cold water on bets of a Fed pivot, saying that the ‘ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected.’

Powell also stated that it was ‘premature’ to talk about taking the foot off the gas.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of November 3, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates decreased by 13 basis points to 6.95%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.09%. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates fell by seven basis points to 6.29%. Rates were up by 394 basis points from 2.35% a year ago. The average fee decreased from 1.4 points to 1.2 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates slipped by one basis point to 5.95%. Rates were up by 341 basis points from 2.55% a year ago. The average fee fell from 0.3 points to 0.2 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Housing market conditions continued to deteriorate as mortgage rates hovered at around 7%.
  • Buying demand continues to weigh, with uncertainty leaving buyers on the sidelines as affordability challenges linger.
  • Wednesday’s Fed rate hike added further pressure on the housing market as buyers struggle with mortgage rates at current levels.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending October 28, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances decreased from 7.16% to 7.06%. Points fell from 0.88 to 0.73 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA declined from 6.79% to 6.70%. Points decreased from 1.59 to 1.18 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.53% to 6.55%. Points rose from 0.68 to 0.70 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased by 1% in the week ending October 28. The Index decreased by 1.7% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index increased by 0.2% and was 85% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index increased by 0.1%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 28.2% to 28.6%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage applications fell for a sixth week in a row, despite a fall in rates.
  • The 30-year fixed rate declined for the first time in over two months but remained around its highest level since 2002.
  • Elevated rates continue to pressure buying and refinance activity.
  • The impact of higher rates is evidenced in the downward trend in housing starts and home sales.

For the week ahead

US consumer inflation expectation numbers will draw interest ahead of wholesale inflation figures on Tuesday. However, retail sales will likely impact yields and mortgage rates the most.

Following last week’s US Jobs Report, the numbers would have to impress to nudge mortgage rates back to 7%. December Fed pivot bets linger despite Fed Chair Powell’s hawkish FOMC press conference on Wednesday.

US Mortgage Rates Hit 7% for the First Time Since 2002 to Test the Fed

In the week ending October 27, mortgage rates increased for the ninth time in ten weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose by 14 basis points to 7.08%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates increased by two basis points to 6.94%.

Following the latest increase, rates are up 209 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 394 basis points year-over-year to strike a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a busy week on the economic calendar, with private sector PMI and consumer confidence figures drawing interest early in the week.

A more marked contraction across the private sector and a slide in consumer confidence failed to pull mortgage rates down. A slower house price growth rate also had no impact, with the upward trend in interest rates continuing to push mortgage rates higher.

While hopes of a December Fed pivot delivered support to riskier assets, the Fed is unlikely to reverse rates in the New Year, supporting mortgage rates at current levels.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of October 27, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 14 basis points to 7.08%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.14%. The average fee decreased from 0.9 points to 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by 13 basis points to 6.36%. Rates were up by 399 basis points from 2.37% a year ago. The average fee increased from 1.1 points to 1.4 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates jumped by 25 basis points to 5.96%. Rates were up by 340 basis points from 2.56% a year ago. The average fee fell from 0.4 points to 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • 30-year fixed mortgage rates breached seven percent for the first time since April 2002.
  • The surge in mortgage rates has led to greater stagnation in the housing market.
  • As inflation lingers, consumers face higher costs, leading to declines in consumer confidence.
  • Potential homebuyers are opting to wait and see where the housing market will end up, weighing more heavily on demand and home prices.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending October 21, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.94% to 7.16%. Points fell from 0.95 to 0.88 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.63% to 6.79%. Points decreased from 1.60 to 1.59 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.31% to 6.53%. Points rose from 0.67 to 0.68 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 1.7% in the week ending October 21. The Index slid by 4.5% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index increased by 0.1% and was 86% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index declined by 7.0%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 28.3% to 28.8%. In the previous week, the share decreased from 29.0% to 28.3%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates increased for the tenth consecutive week, with the 30-year fixed rate hitting the highest level since 2001.
  • The upward trend in mortgage rates continues to weigh on mortgage application activity, which remained at its slowest pace since 1997.
  • Refinance applications were unchanged, while purchase applications fell to the slowest pace since 2015.
  • MBA forecast expects economic and housing market weakness in 2023 to drive a three percent decline in purchase originations.

For the week ahead

ISM Manufacturing PMI and JOLTs job openings will draw plenty of interest on Tuesday ahead of ADP nonfarm employment numbers on Wednesday.

However, the FOMC interest rate decision and rate statement will have more influence ahead of the FOMC press conference. Assuming the Fed delivers a 75-basis point rate hike, the market focus will be on Fed Chair Powell.

Talk of another hawkish move in December would nudge mortgage rates higher. However, homebuyers could get some mortgage rate relief should Powell suggest the need to take the foot off the gas.

US Mortgage Rates Inch Higher but Come Up Short of 7%

In the week ending October 20, mortgage rates increased for the eighth time in nine weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates rose by two basis points to 6.94%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates had surged by 26 basis points to 6.92%.

Following the latest increase, rates are up 195 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 385 basis points year-over-year to strike a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a relatively quiet week on the economic calendar, with NY Empire State Manufacturing and Industrial production figures drawing interest early in the week. A larger-than-expected fall in manufacturing numbers failed to influence while better-than-expected supported the Fed’s more hawkish outlook.

On Thursday, US economic indicators impressed, fueling expectations of 75-basis point Fed rate hikes in November and December.

In October, the Philly Fed Manufacturing Index rose from -9.9 to -8.7 versus a forecast of -5.0. While falling short of expectations, components of the Index were upbeat.

The New Orders Index rose from -17.6 to -15.9, with the Prices Paid Index up from 29.8 to 36.3. However, the employment numbers drew greater interest. The Philly Fed Employment Index jumped from 12.0 to 28.5.

Jobless claims also reflected improving labor market conditions, falling from 226k to 214k in the week ending October 14.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of October 20, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by two basis points to 6.94%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.09%. The average fee increased from 0.8 points to 0.9 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by 14 basis points to 6.23%. Rates were up by 390 basis points from 2.32% a year ago. The average fee held steady at 1.1 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates fell by ten basis points to 5.71%. Rates were up by 317 basis points from 2.54% a year ago. The average fee rose from 0.2 points to 0.4 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates continued to adversely affect the housing market in the form of declining demand.
  • Homebuilder confidence has also tumbled, weighing on the construction of single-family residential homes.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending October 14, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.81% to 6.94%. Points fell from 0.97 to 0.95 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.61% to 6.63%. Points decreased from 1.71 to 1.60 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.25% to 6.31%. Points rose from 0.61 to 0.67 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 4.5%. The Index fell by 2.0% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index declined by 7.0% and was 86% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index slipped by 2.0%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 29.0% to 28.3%. In the previous week, the share remained unchanged at 29.0%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage applications are now in their fourth month of decline, with applications at the lowest level since 1997.
  • The rapid ascent of mortgage rates has impacted refinance activity and caused greater affordability challenges in the purchase market.
  • Purchase and refinance applications are down 38% and 86%, respectively, over the year.

For the week ahead

It is a relatively busy week ahead on the US economic calendar. Early in the week, private sector PMIs for October and Consumer Confidence will draw plenty of interest.

On Friday, FOMC member chatter eased bets of a 75-basis point rate hike in December. News hit the wires of FOMC members preparing to discuss lifting rates at a less aggressive pace. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen shared her views on inflation, suggesting that, while more upside is likely, inflation is not embedded in the US economy.

However, solid PMI numbers and a pickup in consumer confidence could reverse the less hawkish outlook. On Thursday, US GDP numbers for the third quarter will also influence.

From elsewhere, delayed stats from China will set the tone. Q3 GDP, retail sales, and industrial production figures will influence market risk sentiment.

US Mortgage Rates Reach the Doorstep of 7% on Fed Hike Expectations

In the week ending October 13, mortgage rates increased for the seventh time in eight weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates jumped by 26 basis points to 6.92%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates had fallen by four basis points to 6.66%.

Following the latest upswing, rates are up 193 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. 30-year fixed rates were up 398 basis points year-over-year to strike a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a relatively busy week on the economic calendar, with wholesale and consumer price inflation in focus alongside the FOMC meeting minutes.

US economic indicators continued to support more hawkish Fed moves over the remainder of the year. While wholesale and consumer price inflation softened in September, both reports reflected price resilience, supporting 75-basis point Fed rate hikes in November and December.

However, the FOMC meeting minutes provided the markets with hope that the Fed would take its foot off the gas should economic indicators begin to flash red.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of October 13, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates jumped by 26 basis points to 6.92%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.05%. The average fee held steady at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by 19 basis points to 6.09%. Rates were up by 379 basis points from 2.30% a year ago. The average fee increased from 1.0 to 1.1 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates surged by 45 basis points to 5.81%. Rates were up by 326 basis points from 2.55% a year ago. The average fee fell from 0.3 points to 0.2 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • 30-year fixed rates hit their highest levels since April 2002.
  • Strong job and wage growth continue to keep consumer balance sheets in a strong position.
  • By contrast, inflation, recession fears, and house affordability continue to weigh heavily on housing demand.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending October 7, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.75% to 6.81%. Points rose from 0.95 to 0.97 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.60% to 6.61%. Points increased from 1.51 to 1.71 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.14% to 6.25%. Points fell from 0.79 to 0.61 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell by 2.0%. The Index tumbled by 14.0%.in the week prior.

The Refinance Index also declined by 2.0% and was 86% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index tumbled by 18%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 29.0%. In the previous week, the share refinance declined from 30.2% to 29.0%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates continued to climb during the final quarter of 2022, with the 30-year conforming rate hitting the highest level since 2006.
  • Application volumes for refinancing and home purchases declined and continue to fall further behind last year’s record levels.
  • Job and wage growth continued in September, positive for the housing market while removing the chance of the Fed shifting its policy goals.

For the week ahead

It is a quiet week ahead. On Monday, NY Empire State Manufacturing numbers will draw interest before industrial production figures on Tuesday. However, market reaction to last week’s retail sales and consumer sentiment figures will set the tone.

From elsewhere, Q3 GDP, industrial production, fixed asset investment, and retail sales from China will also influence.

However, Fed chatter and market sentiment toward November and December’s monetary policy decisions will likely continue to support mortgage rates at current levels.

US Mortgage Rates Fall for the First Time in Seven Weeks Albeit Modestly

In the week ending October 6, mortgage rates declined for the first time in seven weeks. 30-year fixed mortgage rates slipped by four basis points to 6.66%. In the week prior, 30-year fixed rates had jumped by 41 basis points to 6.70%

Despite the decline, rates are up 167 basis points from the August 3 most recent low of 4.99%. Year-over-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 367 basis points.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a relatively busy week on the economic calendar, with private sector PMI and US labor market numbers in focus.

Weak manufacturing sector PMI numbers at the start of the week led to a slide in US Treasury yields. In September, the ISM Manufacturing PMI fell from 52.8 to 50.9. While the sector continued to expand, the employment and new order sub-components eased bets of another 75-basis point Fed rate hike.

The Employment Index fell from 54.2 to 48.7, with the New Orders Index sliding from 51.3 to 47.1.

However, the all-important ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI and ADP nonfarm numbers delivered a shift in sentiment and raised bets of a 75-basis point Fed rate hike in November.

According to the ADP, nonfarm employment increased by 208k in September, up from 185k in August. In September, the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI slipped from 56.9 to 56.7. Notably, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Employment sub-index increased from 50.2 to 53.0, with new orders rising at a solid clip.

The stats preceded the US jobs report on Friday that could also dictate the Fed’s December move.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of October 6, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates decreased by four basis points to 6.66%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.99%. The average fee fell from 0.9 points to 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates fell by six basis points to 5.90%. Rates were up by 367 basis points from 2.23% a year ago. The average fee decreased from 1.3 to 1.0 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates rose by six basis points to 5.36%. Rates were up by 284 basis points from 2.52% a year ago. The average fee fell from 0.4 points to 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates fell due to ongoing economic uncertainty.
  • Despite the decline, rates remained high compared with one year ago, meaning housing continues to be more expensive for potential home buyers.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending September 30, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.52% to 6.75%. Points fell from 1.15 to 0.95 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 6.17% to 6.60%. Points increased from 1.31 to 1.51 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 6.01% to 6.14%. Points rose from 0.70 to 0.79 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, slid by 14.0% in the week ending September 30. The Index fell by 3.7% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index tumbled by 18% and was 86% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index slid by 11%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined from 30.2% to 29.0%. In the week prior, the refinance share decreased from 32.5% to 30.2%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates continue to climb, leading to another slide in overall application activity, which fell to its lowest level since 2006.
  • The current rate has more than doubled over the last year and has surged by 130 basis points in the last seven weeks alone.
  • The sharp rise has halted refinance activity while also impacting purchase applications.
  • Applications in Florida tumbled by 31% compared to an overall 14% fall, weighed by Hurricane Ian.

For the week ahead

It is a quieter week ahead. US inflation will be the market focal point. A pickup in inflationary pressure, following the jobs report, would drive expectations of a 75-basis point Fed rate hike in December.

The latest jobs report has pushed up bets of 75-basis point rate hikes in November and December. Increasing bets of a more hawkish December move will also put greater emphasis on the FOMC meeting minutes on Wednesday.

While market sentiment towards the Fed remains the key driver, chatter from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Bank Group meetings will also draw attention. The World Bank and the IMF have issued warnings over central banks tightening monetary policy in a synchronized manner.

US Mortgage Rates Rise for a Sixth Consecutive Week to 6.7%

In the week ending September 29, mortgage rates increased for a sixth consecutive week to 6.70%. In the week prior 30-year fixed rates rose by 27 basis points to 6.29%.

Following the 41-basis point jump, rates are up 171 basis points from an August 3 low of 4.99%. Year-over-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 369 basis points to reach a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a relatively quiet week on the economic calendar, with durable and core durable goods in focus, with consumer confidence.

The numbers were upbeat. A sharp pickup in consumer confidence gave the Fed another green light to tackle inflation. The CB Consumer Confidence Index jumped from 103.6 to 108.0.

FOMC member chatter also contributed to the upswing in mortgage rates, with members aligned on cranking up interest rates to bring inflation to target.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of September 29, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 41 basis points to 6.70%. This time last year, rates stood at 3.01%. The average fee held steady at 0.9 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates surged by 52 basis points to 5.96%. Rates were up by 368 basis points from 2.28% a year ago. The average fee increased from 1.0 to 1.3 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates rose by 33 basis points to 5.30%. Rates were up by 282 basis points from 2.48% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.4 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates have doubled over the last year, driven by uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets.
  • The impact on a typical mortgage borrower paying at the higher range would be several hundred dollars more than a borrower locked in at the lower range.
  • Freddie Mac pointed out that “the dispersion in rates means it has become even more important for homebuyers to shop around with different lenders.”

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending September 23, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.25% to 6.52%. Points jumped from 0.71 to 1.15 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.85% to 6.17%. Points increased from 1.15 to 1.31 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.79% to 6.01%. Points rose from 0.46 to 0.70 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 3.7% in the week ending September 23. The Index increased by 3.8% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index slid by 11% and was 84% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index jumped by 10.%. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 32.5% to 30.2%. In the week prior, the refinance share rose from 30.2% to 32.5% of total applications.

According to the MBA,

  • Applications for both purchase and refinances fell due to another surge in mortgage rates to multi-year highs.
  • More aggressive Federal Reserve policy measures to bring down inflation continue to push mortgage rates higher.
  • 30-year fixed rates are at their highest level since 2008 and, with rates more than double the rates from a year ago, refinancing activity is at a 22-year low.

For the week ahead

It is a busy week ahead with manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI numbers due on Monday and Wednesday. While the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI will have the most influence, JOLTs job openings and ADP nonfarm employment change numbers on Tuesday and Wednesday will also draw attention.

The Fed has a lot of wriggle room before labor market conditions force the Fed to take its foot off the gas.

Following Friday’s Core PCE Price Index numbers for August, FOMC member chatter will also influence.

US Mortgage Rates Rise to 6.29% in Response to the Fed

In the week ending September 22, mortgage rates continued to surge higher after breaking through the 6% mark for the first time since 2008. 30-year fixed rates increased by 27 basis points to 6.29%. In the week prior, rates rose by 13 basis points to 6.02%.

Following the 27-basis point rise, rates are up 130 basis points from an August 3 low of 4.99%. Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 341 basis points to reach a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

It was a quiet week on the economic calendar, with housing sector numbers in focus. While the stats had a muted impact on US Treasury yields, the FOMC monetary policy decision and FOMC projections drove yields higher.

A hawkish 75-basis point interest rate hike sent mortgage rates higher for a fifth consecutive week. The rise came despite the FOMC downwardly revising growth projections for this year and 2023.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of September 22, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 27 basis points to 6.29%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.88%. The average fee rose from 0.8 to 0.9 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates jumped by 23 basis points to 5.44%. Rates were up by 329 basis points from 2.15% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.9 to 1.0 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates rose by four basis points to 4.97%. Rates were up by 254 basis points from 2.43% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.2 to 0.4 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates rose higher in response to 10-year Treasury yields surging to their highest level since 2011.
  • The housing sector continues to face headwinds because of the rise in mortgage rates.
  • House price growth is easing, with home sales falling.
  • However, the number of homes for sale remains below normal levels.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending September 16, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 6.01% to 6.25%. Points fell from 0.76 to 0.71 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.71% to 5.85%. Points increased from 1.12 to 1.15 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.56% to 5.79%. Points rose from 0.39 to 0.46 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased by 3.8% in the week ending September 16. The Index decreased by 1.2% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index jumped by 10% from the previous week and was down 83% from the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index fell by 4%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose from 30.2% to 32.5%. In the week prior, the refinance share declined from 30.7% to 30.2% of total applications.

According to the MBA,

  • Treasury yields continued to climb in anticipation of the Fed’s September policy meeting and another hawkish rate hike.
  • While mortgage rates rose to their highest level since 2008, applications increased for the first time in six weeks.

For the week ahead

It is a busier week on the economic data front, with consumer confidence, core durable goods, and durable goods orders due on Tuesday. While core durable goods orders will draw interest, consumer confidence will likely impact yields the most.

Fed Chair Powell and FOMC members will also draw plenty of interest. On Wednesday, Fed Chair Powell will speak at the 2022 Community Banking Research Conference.

US Mortgage Rates Breach 6% on US CPI Report for August

In the week ending September 15, mortgage rates broke through the 6% mark for the first time since 2008. 30-year fixed rates increased by 13 basis points to 6.02%. In the week prior, rates jumped by 23 basis points to 5.89%. Following the 13-basis point rise, rates are up 103 basis points from an August 3 low of 4.99%.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 316 basis points to reach a new 2022 peak.

Economic Data from the Week

On Tuesday, the US CPI report for August was the key driver behind the uptick in mortgage rates. Better-than-expected CPI numbers drove US Treasury yields and mortgage rates higher.

Market bets of a percentage point rate hike surfaced in response to the report, driving mortgage rates beyond six percent.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of September 15, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 13 basis points to 6.02%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.86%. The average fee stood at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by five basis points to 5.21%. Rates were up by 309 basis points from 2.12% a year ago. The average fee stood at 0.9 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates jumped by 29 basis points to 4.93%. Rates were up by 242 basis points from 2.51% a year ago. The average fee stood at 0.2 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Better-than-expected US inflation figures pushed mortgage rates to the highest level since 2008.
  • While rates will continue to weigh on demand and house prices, inventories remain low.
  • Low inventory levels should cushion the housing sector from a sizeable price correction.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending September 9, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 5.94% to 6.01%. Points fell from 0.79 to 0.76 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.61% to 5.71%. Points increased from 1.06 to 1.12 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.46% to 5.56%. Points declined from 0.40 to 0.39 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 1.2%. The Refinance Index fell by 4% and was 83% lower than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined from 30.7% to 30.2% of total applications.

According to the MBA,

  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit the six percent mark for the first time since 2008.
  • Higher mortgage rates have weighed heavily on refinancing activity, with homebuyers staying on the sidelines.
  • A widening spread between the conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the ARM and Jumbo loans reflects the uncertainty about the Fed’s future policy moves.

For the week ahead

It is a quiet week on the economic data front, with US economic indicators limited to housing sector stats. While the numbers will draw interest, they are unlikely to influence US Treasury yields.

However, the Fed monetary policy decision on Wednesday and the FOMC economic forecasts will have a material impact on mortgage rates. A hawkish Fed rate hike would support another upswing in mortgage rates.

US Mortgage Rates Head Towards 6% on Fed Policy Mantra

In the week ending September 1, mortgage rates were on the rise for a second consecutive week. 30-year fixed rates increased by 11 basis points to 5.66%. In the week prior, rates surged by 42 basis points. Following the 11-basis point rise, rates are up 67 basis points from an August 3 low of 4.99%.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 279 basis points while down 15 basis points since a June 22, 2022, peak of 5.81%.

Economic Data from the Week

Fed Chair Powell’s speech from Jackson Hole in the week prior drove mortgage rates higher in the week. Following Powell’s hawkish speech, FOMC members towed the Fed line, talking of the need to push rates beyond 4% to bring inflation under control.

On the economic data front, stats included JOLTs job openings, consumer confidence, and ADP employment change figures.

The stats were skewed to the positive, supporting the Fed’s monetary policy goals and the upward trend in mortgage rates.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of September 1, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates increased by 11 basis points to 5.66%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.87%. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates rose by 13 basis points to 4.98%. Rates were up by 280 basis points from 2.18% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates jumped by 15 basis points to 4.51%. Rates were up by 208 basis points from 2.43% a year ago. The average fee held steady at 0.4 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rates are on the rise, driven by market sentiment towards the Fed’s monetary policy goals to curb inflation.
  • The upswing in mortgage rates comes at a precarious time for the housing sector, with lower purchase demand causing a slowdown in the rate of house price appreciation.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending August 26, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 5.65% to 5.80%. Points rose from 0.68 to 0.71 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.43% to 5.57%. Points decreased from 1.10 to 1.09 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.28% to 5.32%. Points declined from 0.58 to 0.48 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 3.7%. The Index declined by 1.2% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index slid by 8% and was 83% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index fell by 3%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined from 31.1% to 30.3%. In the week prior, the share fell from 31.2% to 31.1%.

According to the MBA,

  • The 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for a second consecutive week to reach its highest level since mid-July.
  • Mortgage and Treasury yields rose last week in response to Fed talk of rates staying higher for longer.
  • Application volume declined and remained at a multi-decade low, weighed by an 8% slide in refinance applications.
  • Rising inventories and slower home-price growth could draw some buyers back to the market later in the year.

For the week ahead

It is a quiet start to the week, with the US markets closed for Labor Day on Monday. However, ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI figures for August will influence US Treasury yields and mortgage rates on Tuesday. Following the market sensitivity to the ISM Manufacturing PMI and sub-components, the Non-Manufacturing PMI and sub-components will have more influence.

From elsewhere, trade data from China will also provide direction.

However, FOMC member chatter will likely be the key driver in the week. Following Yellen’s comments on the Fed’s obligation to curb inflation, hawkish FOMC member chatter would push mortgage rates back towards the June peak of 5.81% and beyond.

US Mortgage Rates Jump 42 Basis Points to 5.55% as Activity Wanes

In the week ending August 25, mortgage rates were back on the rise in what is proving to be a choppy August for prospective home buyers.

30-year fixed rates surged by 42 basis points to 5.55%. Reversing a 9-basis point fall from the previous week, fixed rates are up 56 basis points from an August 3 low of 4.99%.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates are up by 268 basis points while down 26 basis points since a June 22, 2022, peak of 5.81%.

Economic Data from the Week

A relatively busy economic calendar delivered mixed results on the US economic data front. However, the key stat of the week was the prelim services PMI, which pointed to a US economic recession.

In August, the services PMI fell from 47.3 to 44.1, dragging the private sector into a deeper contraction. The composite PMI declined from 47.7 to 45.0.

Despite the weak numbers, market uncertainty ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium delivered a choppy week for the markets.

From the housing market, US economic indicators also disappointed. In July, new home sales slid by 12.6% following a 7.1% fall in June. Pending home sales fell by a further 1.0% after having declined by 8.9% in June.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of August 25, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates jumped by 42 basis points to 5.55%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.87%. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates surged by 30 basis points to 4.85%. Rates were up by 268 basis points from 2.19% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.7 points to 0.8 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates slipped by three basis points to 4.36%. Rates were up by 194 basis points from 2.42% a year ago. The average fee rose from 0.3 points to 0.4 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Higher mortgage rates and economic woes are weighing on the housing sector, as home sales continue to fall.
  • House prices are moderating, while consumer confidence is low.
  • While demand wanes, potential buyers remain on the sidelines waiting to jump back into the market.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending August 19, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 5.45% to 5.65%. Points rose from 0.57 to 0.68 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.38% to 5.43%. Points increased from 1.01 to 1.10 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.14% to 5.28%. Points rose from 0.33 to 0.58 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, declined by 1.2%. The Index decreased by 2.3% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index fell by 3% and was 83% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index declined by 5%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity declined from 31.2% to 31.1%. In the week prior, the share decreased from 32.0% to 31.2%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage applications remained at a 22-year low, weighed by a sharp decline in refinancing demand and weak home purchase activity.
  • Average purchase loan sizes also continued to head lower as activity at the higher end of the market slowed.

For the week ahead

It is a busy start to the week. Economic data includes consumer confidence and JOLTs job openings on Tuesday and APD nonfarm employment change figures on Wednesday. Mortgage rates will also likely react to Fed Chair Powell’s speech from Friday, which could nudge rates towards 6%.

Following Fed Chair Powell’s speech, FOMC member chatter will also influence the direction of mortgage rates.

US Mortgage Rates Ease Back but Avoid sub-5% ahead of a Big Week

In the week ending August 18, mortgage rates slipped back after a choppy two weeks that saw 30-year fixed rates slide to sub-5% before jumping to 5.22%.

30-year fixed rates fell by 9-basis points, partially reversing a 23-basis point jump, to end the week at 5.13%. Prior to the 23-basis point jump, mortgage rates fell to sub-5% for the first time since April 6.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 227 basis points while down 68 basis points since a June 22, 2022, peak of 5.81%.

Economic Data from the Week

Weak economic data from China set the tone on Monday. Industrial production increased by 3.8% year-over-year, down from 3.9% in June. Retail sales increased by 2.7% year-over-year, down from 3.1% in June. Economists forecast industrial production of 4.6% and retail sales of 5.0%.

The numbers disappointed, forcing the PBoC to deliver support that briefly limited the damage.

US economic indicators delivered mixed results. NY Empire State Manufacturing numbers also weighed on riskier assets ahead of positive stats on Tuesday and Wednesday.

US industrial production increased by 0.6%, with core retail sales up 0.4% in July to slow the flight to safety.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of August 18, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates fell by nine basis points to 5.13%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.86%. The average fee rose from 0.7 to 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates slipped by four basis points to 4.55%. Rates were up by 239 basis points from 2.16% a year ago. The average fee held steady at 0.7 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates declined by four basis points to 4.39%. Rates were up by 196 basis points from 2.43% a year ago. The average fee rose from 0.0 points to 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage rate surges have eased, with inflation seemingly beyond its peak.
  • The housing market continues to absorb the effects of price and rate increases that have weighed on affordability.
  • Looking ahead, demand will likely remain a drag, with home price growth on a downward trend due to a modest increase in supply.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending August 12, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances decreased from 5.47% to 5.45%. Points fell from 0.80 to 0.57 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.35% to 5.38%. Points decreased from 1.02 to 1.01 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.09% to 5.14%. Points fell from 0.59 to 0.33 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased by 2.3%. The Index rose by 0.2% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index declined by 5% and was 82% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index rose by 4%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased from 32.0% to 31.2%. In the week prior, the share increased from 30.8% to 32.0%.

According to the MBA,

  • Application activity weakened, with overall applications falling to their lowest level since 2000.
  • Rising mortgage rates, a glum economic outlook, and affordability continued to weigh on mortgage applications.
  • The MBA sees slower home price growth and a downward trend in mortgage rates a boon for purchase activity.
  • Things were no better for refinance mortgages, with refinance activity falling to its lowest level since November 2000.

For the week ahead

It is a busier week ahead, with prelim August private sector PMIs and durable and core durable goods orders in focus. New and pending home sales will also draw interest in the first half of the week.

Weak service sector PMI and core durable goods orders could reignite fears of a US economic recession. We can also expect some market caution ahead of the Jackson Hole Symposium.

From elsewhere, the PBoC is due to set loan prime rates on Monday. A supportive move would be positive for riskier assets.

US Mortgage Rates Bounce Back on Strong US Nonfarm Payrolls

In the week ending August 11, mortgage rates jumped in a marked shift in sentiment towards the US economy, supported by impressive nonfarm payroll numbers for July.

30-year fixed rates jumped by 23 basis points, partially reversing the 31-basis point slump from the previous week. Mortgage rates had fallen to below 5% for the first time since April 6.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 225 basis points while down 59 basis points since the June 22, 2022, peak of 5.81%.

Economic Data from the Week

Nonfarm payroll figures for July set the tone and drove mortgage rates back through 5%. Softer US inflation figures failed to soften the blow for prospective buyers, with the US annual rate of inflation sitting well above the Fed target.

The positive labor market numbers supported another sizeable Fed rate hike in September, with other economic indicators pointing to improving economic conditions.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of August 11, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates jumped by 23 basis points to 5.22%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.85%. The average fee fell from 0.8 to 0.7 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates surged by 33 basis points to 4.59%. Rates were up by 244 basis points from 2.15% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.6 points to 0.7 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates rose by 18 basis points to 4.43%. Rates were up by 199 basis points from 2.44% a year ago. The average fee fell from 0.3 points to 0.0 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage jumped back through the 5.00% mark, demonstrating persistent volatility.
  • Recent data suggests that the housing market is stabilizing following the surge of activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Falls in purchase demand continue to slow while supply constraints linger.
  • House prices will likely continue to rise, albeit at a slower pace.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending August 5, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 5.43% to 5.47%. Points rose from 0.65 to 0.80 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA fell from 5.39% to 5.35%. Points decreased from 1.03 to 1.02 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.06% to 5.09%. Points rose from 0.36 to 0.59 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose by 0.2%. The Index increased by 1.2% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index rose by 4% and was 82% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index climbed by 2%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 30.8% to 32.0%. In the week prior, the share increased from 30.7% to 30.8%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates remained volatile.
  • While mortgage applications were flat, refinance applications increased as the purchasing market continues to face a slowdown.
  • Activity has declined in five of the last six weeks, with buyers on the sidelines due to affordability conditions and concerns over the economy.

For the week ahead

It is a big week ahead on the US economic calendar. US retail sales will be the key stat of the week. However, on Wednesday, the FOMC meeting minutes will also influence.

The impressive nonfarm payroll numbers and the softer inflation figures have created uncertainty over the September policy decision. The Fed may take the opportunity to deliver another 75-basis point hike that would force mortgage rates northwards while impacting affordability.

Other stats in the week include economic indicators from China that will also influence risk sentiment and US Treasuries indirectly.

US Mortgage Rates Tumble to Below 5% in Response to Recession Fears

In the week ending August 4, mortgage rates tumbled as concerns over inflation and the US economic outlook weighed.

30-year fixed rates slumped by 31 basis points. Following a 24-basis point slide from the previous week, mortgage rates fell to sub-5% for the first time since April 6.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 222 basis points while down 82 basis points from June 22, 2022, peak of 5.81%.

Economic Data from the Week

Economic data from the week ending July 29 sounded the alarm bells. The US economy contracted by 0.9% following a 1.6% contraction in Q1, supporting market fears of a recession. Jobless claims were also on an upward trend, drawing interest ahead of the July nonfarm payroll numbers.

This week, stats in focus ahead of the mortgage rate release included July private sector PMI numbers.

The ISM Manufacturing PMI slipped from 53.0 to 52.8, while the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI unexpectedly rose from 55.3 to 56.7.

However, labor market numbers disappointed, with JOLTs job openings falling from 11.303 million to 10.698 million. The numbers were significant as they preceded nonfarm payroll figures released after the mortgage rate publications.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of August 04, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates slumped by 31 basis points to 4.99%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.77%. The average fee held steady at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates tumbled by 32 basis points to 4.26%. Rates were up by 216 basis points from 2.10% a year ago. The average fee declined from 0.8 points to 0.6 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates slipped by four basis points to 4.25%. Rates were up by 185 basis points from 2.40% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage volatility persisted due to inflationary pressures and clear evidence of weaker economic growth.
  • Uncertainty over inflation and other key drivers are likely to contribute to mortgage rate volatility as the Fed attempts to tackle the inflation issue amidst the weaker economic environment.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending July 29, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances decreased from 5.74% to 5.43%. Points rose from 0.61 to 0.65 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA fell from 5.54% to 5.39%. Points increased from 0.85 to 1.03 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances declined from 5.32% to 5.06%. Points fell from 0.43 to 0.36 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased by 1.2%. The Index declined by 1.8% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index rose by 2% and was 82% lower than the same week a year ago. In the previous week, the Index declined by 4%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 30.7% to 30.8%. In the week prior, the share decreased from 31.4% to 30.7%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage rates declined in response to the Fed policy decision and the talk of more tightening.
  • Treasury yields fell due to expectations of a weaker economic environment.
  • The 30-year fixed saw the biggest weekly fall since 2020, with lower rates supporting refinance activity and purchase applications.
  • Lower mortgage rates and a rise in inventory could support a rebound in purchase activity.

For the week ahead

Inflation will be the area of focus, with July consumer price inflation numbers due on Wednesday.

Following the impressive nonfarm payroll numbers from Friday, another spike in inflation could see increased bets of a full percentage point rate hike in September. Such an eventuality could see mortgage rates bounce back.

US Mortgage Rates Rise for a Second Consecutive Week

In the week ending July 21, mortgage rates increased for a second consecutive week.

30-year fixed rates rose by three basis points. Following a 21-basis point surge from the previous week, mortgage rates returned to 5.54%.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 276 basis points and by 60 basis points since the November 2018 peak of 4.94%.

Economic Data from the Week

There were no US economic indicators to provide US Treasuries with direction, leaving market sentiment towards Fed monetary policy in focus.

Housing sector data from the US continued to show weakness at the end of the second quarter.

Building permits fell by 0.6%, following a 7.0% slump in May. Housing starts fell by 2.0%, following an 11.9% tumble in May.

Existing home sales reflected the impact of higher mortgage rates on demand. In June, existing home sales followed a 3.4% fall from May with a 5.4% decline.

With the Fed in the blackout period from July 16 to July 28, there was no FOMC member chatter to influence.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of July 21, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates rose by three basis points to 5.54%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.78%. The average fee held steady at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates increased by eight basis points to 4.75%. Rates were up by 263 basis points from 2.12% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates declined by four basis points to 4.31%. Rates were up by 182 basis points from 2.49% a year ago. The average fee increased from 0.2 points to 0.3 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Housing activity remained weak, weighed by a further uptick in mortgage rates.
  • Consumer concerns over rising rates, inflation, and the risk of a recession pegged back demand.
  • Due to the current headwinds, house price appreciation is likely to slow noticeably.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending July 15, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances increased from 5.74% to 5.82%. Points rose from 0.59 to 0.65 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA rose from 5.49% to 5.50%. Points decreased from 1.08 to 1.02 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances increased from 5.25% to 5.31%. Points remained unchanged at 0.38 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell by 6.3% in the week ending July 15. The Index declined by 1.7% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index decreased by 4% from the previous week and was 80% lower than the same week one year ago. In the week prior, the Index increased by 2%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity rose from 30.8% to 31.4%. In the previous week, the refinance share increased from 29.6% to 30.8%.

According to the MBA,

  • Mortgage applications fell for a third consecutive week to their lowest level since 2000.
  • Higher mortgage rates weighed on applications, with rates more than two percentage points higher than July 2021.
  • Refinances were also taking a hit, with the Refinance Index sliding to a 22-year low.
  • Higher inflation, the weakening economic outlook, and affordability weighed on demand.

For the week ahead

It is a big week ahead for the global financial markets, and US mortgage rates will also be in the spotlight.

On Tuesday, US consumer confidence figures will draw interest. Weak numbers will likely test support for riskier assets. Core durable goods will also influence mid-week.

However, the Fed monetary policy decision is the event of the week. On Wednesday, the markets expect a sizeable rate hike, the only question being whether it is a 75-basis point or 100-basis point rate hike.

Disappointing private sector PMI numbers from Friday could even raise the chances of a smaller 50-basis point hike, highlighting the degree of uncertainty.

US Mortgage Rates Jump on US Inflation Numbers

In the week ending July 15, mortgage rates bounced back from a two-week slump.

30-year fixed rates jumped by 21 basis points, partially reversing a 40-basis point tumble from the previous week to end the week at 5.51%.

Year-on-year, 30-year fixed rates were up by 263 basis points and by 57 basis points since the November 2018 peak of 4.94%.

Economic Data from the Week

US inflation figures contributed to the upswing in mortgage rates. In June, the US annual rate of inflation accelerated from 8.6% to 9.1%. Economists had forecast a rate of 8.8%.

The pickup in inflationary pressures, together with the nonfarm payroll figures, led to the talk of a 100-basis point rate hike later in the month.

However, fears of an economic recession limited the rise in mortgage rates that failed to reverse losses from the week prior.

Freddie Mac Rates

The weekly average rates for new mortgages, as of July 15, 2022, were quoted by Freddie Mac to be:

  • 30-year fixed rates jumped by 21 basis points to 5.51%. This time last year, rates stood at 2.88%. The average fee held steady at 0.8 points.
  • 15-year fixed rates surged by 22 basis points to 4.67% in the week. Rates were up by 245 basis points from 2.22% a year ago. The average fee remained unchanged at 0.8 points.
  • 5-year fixed rates increased by 16 basis points to 4.35%. Rates were up by 188 basis points from 2.47% a year ago. The average fee decreased from 0.4 points to 0.2 points.

According to Freddie Mac,

  • Mortgage volatility persisted as economic growth slowed due to fiscal and monetary policy.
  • With rates at their highest in over a decade, house prices at elevated levels, and inflation hitting consumers, affordability remained the main issue for homebuyers.

Mortgage Bankers’ Association Rates

For the week ending July 8, 2022, the rates were:

  • Average interest rates for 30-year fixed with conforming loan balances remained unchanged at 5.74%. Points fell from 0.65 to 0.59 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year fixed mortgage rates backed by FHA fell from 5.60% to 5.49%. Points increased from 0.89 to 1.08 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.
  • Average 30-year rates for jumbo loan balances decreased from 5.28% to 5.25%. Points decreased from 0.44 to 0.38 (incl. origination fee) for 80% LTV loans.

Weekly figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell by 1.7% in the week ending July 8. The Index decreased by 5.4% in the week prior.

The Refinance Index increased by 2% and was 80% lower than the same week one year ago. In the previous week, the Index slid by 8%.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 29.6% to 30.8%. In the previous week, the refinance share declined from 30.3% to 29.6%.

According to the MBA,

  • While mortgage rates were relatively steady, applications fell for a second week in a row.
  • High mortgage rates and the weaker economic outlook weighed on applications.
  • Average purchase loan sizes were in decline, weighed by the prospect of slower home price growth and weaker purchase activity at the upper end of the market.

For the week ahead

It is a quiet week ahead on the US economic calendar. Housing sector numbers are due out in the first half of the week. Weak housing sector data could weigh on mortgage rates, with little else for the markets to consider.

On the monetary policy front, the Fed entered the blackout period on Saturday to sideline monetary policy chatter until the July policy decision.

Top 5 Crypto Debit Cards in Europe

Crypto debit cards have seen an increase in demand as the number of Europeans holding cryptos sees an upward trend.

Such has been the surge in crypto interest that the ECB recently estimated that as many as 10% of households across the six large euro area countries own crypto-assets.

The increase in crypto debit card usage comes despite the ECB considering crypto assets as unsuitable for most retail investors (either as an investment or store of value or as a means of payment).

For Europeans holding digital assets, crypto debit cards provide an attractive alternative means of payment.

Crypto debit cards enable crypto holders to spend crypto and fiat for everyday purchases. Unlike crypto credit cards, popular in the US, crypto debit cards auto-convert crypto to fiat currencies to meet debit card payment obligations.

Crypto holders don’t need to sell their crypto to gain access to funds. An added feature is the crypto debit card rewards that are more rewarding than traditional debit cards linked to high street retail banks. As with traditional debit cards, crypto debit cardholders can make fiat ATM withdrawals.

While crypto debit cards all serve a similar purpose, crypto holders interested in applying for a debit card should complete the necessary research to select the most suitable card on the market.

Key advantages and considerations include,

  • Annual fees.
  • Foreign Exchange fees.
  • Multi-currency or single currency.
  • Transaction fees.
  • Card rewards, including cash back.
  • Interest rates on offer for holding crypto.
  • Card partnerships with networks, including Mastercard and Visa.

While there are numerous crypto debit cards to choose from, some stand out from the pack. These include,

Binance Card

  • No annual fees.
  • Transaction fees (payment and ATM withdrawals) up to 0.9%, excluding any third-party services and network fees.
  • Earn up to 8% BNB Cashback on eligible purchases. The BNB cashback rate is based on the BNB monthly average balance of the Funding Wallet. Users with a BNB average monthly balance of 600 BNB receive 8% BNB cashback.

Additional benefits of the Binance Card include,

  • Holders can keep crypto in their Binance Funding Wallet and only convert when making payments.
  • Card holders can use Binance Visa Card in over 60+ million Visa merchants globally.
  • Binance security protocols and security measures give users adequate protection from fraud and theft.
  • Supported by Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Currently, Binance Card supports the conversion and spending of BNB, BUSD, USDT, BTC, SXP, ETH, EUR, ADA, DOT, LAZIO, PORTO, and SANTOS.

Negatives include,

  • Transaction fees (payment and ATM withdrawals) up to 0.9%, excluding any third-party services and network fees.
  • Cashbacks are based on Funding Wallet average monthly BNB balances and not on card spending.

Crypto.com Card

  • No annual fees.
  • Free monthly ATM withdrawal amounts that vary by card tier.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • CRO Rewards of up to 5% depending on card tier.

Additional benefits of the Crypto.com Card include,

  • Card benefits include a 100% rebate for basic subscription plans for Spotify, Netflix, and Prime.
  • Cardholders can use the Crypto.com Card at any store that accepts Visa.
  • Users can top up with fiat and crypto.
  • The Crypto.com Card supports the conversion and spending of more than 80 cryptos.

Negatives include,

  • Monthly ATM withdrawal limits on amount and frequency, with a withdrawal fee of 2% beyond the free withdrawal limits.
  • Debit/Credit card top-up fee of 1%.
  • To qualify for 5% rewards, cardholders need to stake $400,000 in CRO equivalent for six months.

Fluid Finance

  • No annual fees.
  • Simple to use Fluid app allows users to freely interchange between fiat and crypto to spend on the Fluid Card.
  • Fluid account holders earn interest of 4% on all deposits.
  • Deposits are fully insured.
  • Free ATM withdrawals of €400 per month.

Additional benefits of the Fluid Finance Card include,

  • Fluid Cards are available to Fluid and traditional bank account holders.
  • Cardholders can connect to a Web3 crypto wallet.
  • Enables users to spend fiat and digital currencies on a single card.
  • Multiple card types supporting different fiat currencies, including EUR, GBP, and USD, with CHF coming soon.
  • Cardholders can spend fiat and crypto at all locations accepting Mastercard.
  • Account holders can send and receive money worldwide and send Fluid tokens to get cards for other people.
  • Referral program, where account holders can win USD10,000.

Negatives include,

  • Fluid Card subscriptions run annually.
  • Users need to buy and send one Fluid token to a Gnosis Safe address to get a Fluid Card. Fluid tokens are available on Sushiswap or the Fluid app.

TRASTRA Crypto Card

  • €15 annual card management fee.
  • No transaction fees.
  • Cardholders can make ATM withdrawals, with a withdrawal fee of €2.25 per withdrawal. (ATM providers may charge additional fees).
  • A Personal IBAN connected to the card enables EUR deposits.
  • TRASTRA supports seven cryptos, including bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin CASH (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), USD Coin (USDC), and Tether (USDT).

Additional benefits of the TRASTRA Visa Card include,

  • Borderless transfers across 36 countries, with an €8,000 daily limit.
  • No fees for receiving SEPA payments.
  • More than 46 million merchants globally accept payments in crypto and euros.
  • Cardholders can purchase cryptos with bank cards or via bank transfers with zero fees.
  • Strong focus on security, including 2FA.
  • Referral program gives an additional earning option. Referrers can earn €10 + 0.2% on crypto-to-cash transactions.

Negatives include

  • €3.00 fee for euro transfers throughout SEPA.
  • No rewards program.

WIREX Card

  • No annual fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Cryptoback rewards pay back up to 2% in WXT on all spending.

Additional benefits of the Wirex Card include,

  • No maximum balance, with a single transaction limit of SGD20,000.
  • Card holders can use Wirex Card at more than 80 million locations globally.
  • Users can link their Wirex Card to PayPal to add funds via the Wirexapp with no fees.
  • The link with PayPal also means that users can withdraw funds to PayPal accounts at no cost.
  • Multi-currency card supporting more than 150 crypto and fiat currencies.

Negatives include,

  • ATM withdrawal limit of SGD1,400, with a withdrawal fee of 2% applied after the first SGD400.
  • Incoming payment limits of SGD1,000 or 30 transactions per day and SGD25,000 or 50 transactions per week.

In conclusion

Crypto adoption continues to rise despite the current crypto winter. With more merchants accepting digital assets and, with Visa and Mastercard, along with other payment networks, embracing the digital asset space, demand for crypto debit cards is likely to rise.

Prospective cardholders should prioritize card benefits and offerings to make the most appropriate selection.

While ATM withdrawal limits tend to be on the lower side, the option to make purchases with crypto and fiat currencies makes crypto debit cards a viable alternative to traditional bank debit cards.

 

Top 5 Crypto Credit Cards in The United States

The digital asset space has taken long strides in bridging the gap between traditional bank products and crypto-linked consumer products.

One product finding traction is the crypto credit card space. For consumer bankers, bank credit cards can be costly and hard to come by.

Crypto credit cards provide consumers a viable alternative, with crypto exchanges offering credit card products to lure consumers from the more traditional banking space.

With the number of available credit card products on the rise, prospective users should conduct the necessary research to make the right choice.

Considerations in choosing a crypto credit card include:

  • Annual fees.
  • Crypto market volatility can eat into the rewards and usefulness of crypto credit cards.
  • Partnerships with established issuing banks and networks, including Mastercard and Visa.
  • Rewards schemes, including cash back and point redemptions.
  • The annual percentage rate (APR).

Five crypto credit cards popular in the US include:

BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Unlimited 1.5% back in crypto on all purchases, increasing to 2.0% after a $30k annual spend.
  • Variable APR for purchases ranging from 16.49% to 26.49%.
  • Requires a credit score of “good” to “excellent”
  • Issuing bank is Evolve Bank & Trust.

Additional benefits of the BlockFi card include:

  • Withdrawing rewarded cryptos.
  • Rewards in BTC, ETH, and more than 15 other cryptos.
  • Pre-approval ensures no credit score impact.
  • Visa Signature benefits include access to the special guest status at 900+ Visa Signature Luxury properties worldwide and concierge services.

Negatives include:

  • Prospective card holders must first open a BlockFi account.
  • No balance transfers.
  • High APR.
  • Rewards in crypto, leaving cardholder rewards exposed to market volatility.
  • Unavailable to New York residents.

Gemini Credit Card

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 3% back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on other purchases.
  • Variable APR for purchases ranging from 14.49% to 25.49%.
  • Requires no credit score.
  • Issuing bank is WedBank.

Additional benefits of the Gemini card include:

  • Rewards are deposited immediately in BTC, ETH, and more than 60 other cryptos available on Gemini.
  • Card available in black, silver, or rose gold metal.
  • The Gemini card has no card number displayed to provide user protection.
  • Mastercard benefits.

Negatives include:

  • Rewards in crypto, leaving cardholder rewards exposed to market volatility.
  • Penalty APR of 31.49%.
  • Lower spending rewards than other cards.
  • High APR.
  • Selling or converting rewarded cryptos may incur fees.

SoFi Credit Card

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Up to 3% back on all purchases.
  • Variable APR for purchases ranging from 14.49% to 26.49%.
  • Requires Good to Excellent credit score.
  • Issuing bank is Bank of Missouri.

Additional benefits of the SoFi card include:

  • Rewards vary depending on redemption in cash or crypto.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits.
  • No credit score impact for applying.
  • Reduce APR by 1% by making 12 monthly on-time payments of at least the minimum monthly payment.

Negatives include:

  • Rewards in crypto, leaving cardholder rewards exposed to market volatility.
  • High APR.
  • No options to improve rewards by increasing spending.

Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards Visa

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1.5% back in bitcoin on all purchases.
  • Variable APR for purchases ranging from 8.99% to 29.99%.
  • Requires a credit score of “good” to “excellent.”
  • Issuing bank is Sutton Bank.

Additional benefits of the Upgrade card include:

  • Intro $200 bonus when you open a Rewards Checking account and make three debit card transactions.
  • Multiple card options are available, catering to consumer needs. These include,
    • Cash Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on payments.
    • Triple Cash Rewards: Unlimited 3% cash back on payment for purchases in the Home, Auto, and Health categories.
    • Bitcoin Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% back on bitcoin payments.
    • Upgrade Card: Get the credit you need with no fees.
  • Chip-enabled contactless card.

Negatives include:

  • High APR.
  • Rewards in bitcoin, leaving cardholder rewards exposed to market volatility.
  • Users cannot transfer bitcoin rewards to a separate wallet. Sales of bitcoin are subject to a 1.5% transaction fee.

Venmo Credit Card

  • No annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 3% cash back on groceries, 2% cash back on bills & utilities, and 1% cash back on all other spending.
  • Variable APR for purchases ranging from 11.99% to 20.99%.
  • Requires a credit score of “good” to “excellent.”
  • Issuing bank is Synchrony Bank.

Additional benefits of the Venmo card include:

  • Rewards in dollars and exchangeable to crypto.
  • Card holders can define preferred crypto rewards by selecting four cryptos. Venmo automatically converts fiat to crypto without any crypto transaction fee.
  • Unique Venmo QR codes allow Venmo friends to scan to pay or get paid.
  • Contactless Visa card to pay on touch-free enabled terminals.
  • Visa and Visa Signature perks.

Negatives include:

  • 1.75% transfer fee for instant electronic withdrawals to a linked debit card or bank account.
  • High APR.
  • Users cannot transfer crypto from Venmo to another exchange or an external wallet.

In conclusion

The crypto credit card space is ever-growing. While the crypto winter has affected the crypto credit card market, the crypto credit card space is likely to evolve in the years ahead, supported by increased crypto adoption and growth in the DeFi space.

As the market evolves, users will likely benefit from a wider range of rewards.

However, for some crypto market volatility and the possible erosion of crypto rewards remains an issue. As the crypto market matures, volatility may also flatten out, which would draw more users across from more traditional credit card products.

Fees, transferability, and rewards will continue to be the key considerations, as is the case for fiat credit cards.