Mortgage rates increase to 4.46% as market activity picks up

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With new data released showing the nation’s consumer confidence is at a six-year high, more Americans said they are planning to buy a home this year.

But what about rising mortgage rates?

“I think it’s a concern, but we still have to remember even they move up, they’re still historically low,” Prudential Locations executive officer Bill Chee said.

For anyone who purchased a home in the 1980s or early 1990s, mortgage rates were in the double digits.

Currently, the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan is 4.46 percent — the highest in two years and a full percentage point up in the last 30 days.

“The market is signaling that the market activity is picking up and the demand is being spread around,” Chee said.

Chee said while rates are rising, the Oahu real estate market is still affordable.

“Affordability has never been this way before in terms of interest rates and it’s never been in a situation where prices haven’t risen so fast,” Chee said.

But they are starting to rise, especially in high-demand areas like east Honolulu, Kakaako, and Waikiki.

“One of the things we look at in terms of indication is how many homes are sold over the asking price and right now it’s about 25 percent of homes and condos get sold at a price that’s over the asking,” Chee said.

The time to buy or sell property may be right now.

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