A ‘Perfect Storm’: Sharp Rise in Home Prices, Mortgage Rates Driving Working Americans out of the Market

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The dramatic rise in home prices and mortgage rates in the early months of 2022 has had a relatively limited effect on wealthy buyers and sellers, but has had a severe impact on lower-income Americans—and the Democratic Party may pay a steep price for their frustrations in the November midterm elections and beyond, according to real estate analysts and commentators.

Average payments on mortgages went from 3 percent to 5 percent in the first three months of the year, and are now 38 percent higher than a year ago, according to a Politico report citing figures from real estate listing service Zillow.

Partly because of inflation, the average rate on 30-year mortgages this week hit 5.46 percent, the highest figure since August 2009, according to Bankrate statistics.

Rates are up across the board, including 30-year fixed rates, 15-year fixed rates, and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rates. As of April 2022, the median home price in America stood at $344,141, a 20.9 percent leap from a year before, Zillow states.

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