Mortgage rates climb above 6%, first time since 2008

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The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage topped 6% this week, the highest level since 2008 and more than twice what it was a year ago.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed note rose again this week to 6.02%%, up from last week's reading of 5.89%.

At this time last year, 30-year fixed-rate products averaged 2.86%.

The rate for a 15-year fixed note also rose, averaging 5.21% after coming in at 5.16% last week. That is also more than double the average rate at this time last year when 15-year products were at 2.12%.

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"Mortgage rates continued to rise alongside hotter-than-expected inflation numbers this week, exceeding six percent for the first time since late 2008," said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. "Although the increase in rates will continue to dampen demand and put downward pressure on home prices, inventory remains inadequate. This indicates that while home price declines will likely continue, they should not be large."

While rates in the cooling housing market are now at their highest level since 2008, experts say the fundamentals behind the current slowdown are nothing like what caused the crash that year.

"The law of supply and demand is never repealed, so we have a very different situation where instead of having a demand-driven crisis, we’ve actually had a supply-driven crisis that has increased home values and home prices by a lot," National Housing Conference CEO David Dworkin told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast."

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Dworkin noted that the 2008 market "was fueled by toxic mortgages and people were getting interest rates on a teaser basis that they couldn’t possibly repay."

Pandemic-fueled demand driven by historically low interest rates over the past few years coupled with limited inventories drove home prices to record levels, pushing more would-be buyers out of the market.

But prices remain high because supply remains limited, and rising interest rates are expected to cool the market further.

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Goldman Sachs warned in a recent note to clients that investors should brace for the downturn to get worse, predicting that the housing sector will slow sharply in the coming months.

FOX Business' Talia Kaplan and The Associated Press contributed to this report.