‘The Real Mortgage Rate is a Negative Number.’ As Inflation Stubbornly Sits at a 40-Year High, Do Current Mortgage Rates Look Better Than They Seem?

SmartMoney, Aug. 9, 2022–Alisa Wolfson
I’ve heard some chattering about the “real mortgage rate.” In a nutshell, this is the interest rate on mortgages minus the current inflation rate. “With inflation running so high right now, even though mortgage rates have risen, the real mortgage rate is a negative number,” says Kate Wood, home expert at NerdWallet. “Right now, with the CPI at 9.1%, if you had a mortgage with a 5% interest rate, your real mortgage rate is -4.1%.”