Point 1: Reported mortgage rates are high, but lower than their long-run average.
The red line in the FRED graph above shows reported 30-year fixed mortgage rates. We can see they’re quite a bit higher now than they were a year ago, but lower than they’ve been for more than half of their recorded history.
Point 2: These reported rates apply only to mortgage applications and don’t seem to have affected existing mortgages.
The blue line in the graph shows the proportion of income that households dedicate to mortgage servicing. The recent spike in rates doesn’t seem to have affected the interest load for current mortgages, given that the blue line has barely moved.
Again, these mortgage statistics describe new mortgages, not existing mortgages. Traditionally, mortgage data have come from surveying mortgage originators, asking them for the going rate of new first-lien, conforming, conventional mortgages issued to households with excellent credit and a 80% loan-to-value ratio. But since November 2022, administrative data from Freddie Mac’s underwriting system have been used instead of the survey data. These data include rates for mortgage applications, which may never be issued as actual mortgages. The results are very similar, but it is a broader sample being used. For more details, see this report.
How this graph was created: Search FRED for “mortgage debt service.” On the graph, click “Edit Graph,” open the “Add Line” tab, and search for “mortgage rate,” selecting the 30-year fixed-rate series.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann.