The U.S. average long-term mortgage rates are at their highest level in 12 years.

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WASHINGTON, (AP) – The US long term mortgage rates rose for the seventh consecutive week. They have reached their highest point in more than a decade.

According to mortgage buyer Freddie Mack, the average 30-year mortgage rate has risen to 5.11%, up from 5% last week. It reached 5.21% in April 2010. The rate for 30 years was 2.9% a year prior.

These are the highest rates of growth since 1994, as measured by the average rate in the recent months.

Federal Reserve officials signaled they would be taking a tough stance against high inflation this year. Minutes from the March Fed policy meeting, which were published earlier in the month, indicated that half-point rate increases, instead of traditional quarter-point rises, “could possibly be appropriate” at least once this year. In March, the Fed increased its principal lending rate by quarter point. This was its first increase since 2018.

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that the U.S. saw a sharp decline in sales of homes previously occupied. This was due to record prices and a rapid rise of mortgage rates, which discourage future home buyers as the spring buying season begins.

The median apartment price in March rose 15% to $375,300 from the previous year. NAR reported that this is an all time record in data, dating back to 1999.

Sam Hatter, chief economist of Freddie Mack, said that although spring is the busiest season for apartment purchases, rising rates have led to some volatility in the demand. It is still a sellers market, but buyers interested in purchasing a home might find that the competition has moderately slowed.

The goal of homeownership has become more challenging and costly for first-time buyers, with inflation reaching a high of 4 decades, rising mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a tight supply.

Freddie Mack reported that the average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate, which is popular among home refinancers increased to 4.38%, from 4.17% last Wednesday. It stood at 2.29% one year ago.

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