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Mortgage Demand from Homebuyers Hits a 28-Year Low as Interest Rates Soar


The rising cost of borrowing money has had a significant impact on the housing market, with mortgage demand plummeting to its lowest level in nearly three decades.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications fell 17% in May from the previous month, with the decline driven by a sharp increase in interest rates. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.78% in May, up from 5.23% in April.

The increase in interest rates is being driven by a number of factors, including the Federal Reserve's efforts to combat inflation. The Fed has raised interest rates several times this year, and it is expected to continue raising rates in the coming months.

Causes of Rising Interest Rates

  • The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to combat inflation. Inflation is at a 40-year high, and the Fed is taking steps to cool the economy and bring inflation down.
  • The economy is strong, and there is a lot of demand for money. This is driving up interest rates.
  • There is a shortage of housing, which is also driving up interest rates. There are not enough homes for sale, so buyers are willing to pay higher interest rates to get a home.

Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Mortgage Demand

  • The rising cost of borrowing money is making it more difficult for potential homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage. This is because lenders have to take into account the borrower's debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of their monthly income that goes towards debt payments. When interest rates go up, the monthly mortgage payment goes up, which can push borrowers' debt-to-income ratio over the lender's limits.
  • As a result, many buyers are putting their plans to buy a home on hold. They are either waiting for interest rates to go down or they are looking for other ways to finance their purchase, such as renting or buying a less expensive home.

Tips for Homebuyers in a Rising-Rate Environment

  • Make a strong financial case. When you apply for a mortgage, be prepared to show lenders that you have a strong financial profile. This includes having a good credit score, a steady income, and a manageable debt-to-income ratio.
  • Shop around for the best rate. Get quotes from multiple lenders before you choose a mortgage. This will help you ensure that you are getting the best possible rate.
  • Consider a shorter-term mortgage. A shorter-term mortgage will have a higher monthly payment, but you will pay less interest over the life of the loan.
  • Make a down payment. A larger down payment will lower your monthly mortgage payment and reduce your risk of default.
  • Be patient. The housing market is cyclical, and prices will eventually start to rise again. If you are not able to buy a home right now, don't give up. Wait until the market cools down and then make your move.

Government and Local Government Interventions

  • The government can provide incentives for first-time homebuyers. This could include tax credits or down payment assistance.
  • Local governments can relax zoning restrictions to increase the supply of housing. This could make it easier to build more affordable homes.
  • The Federal Reserve can slow its pace of interest rate hikes. This would give the housing market time to adjust to the higher rates.


The impact of rising interest rates on the housing market is a complex issue. There is no easy solution, but by taking steps to address the issue, we can help to ensure that the housing market remains healthy and accessible to all.

In addition to the tips above, here are some other things that homebuyers can do to prepare for a rising-rate environment:

  • Start saving for a down payment. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment will be.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford to borrow and will make the home buying process go more smoothly.
  • Be prepared to make a quick offer. Homes are selling quickly in today's market, so be prepared to act fast when you find a home that you like.

Rising interest rates are a challenge for homebuyers, but it is not impossible to buy a home in a rising-rate environment. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success.

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