Ticker: UMass economic impact: $8.3B; Mortgage rates tick up, again

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Spending by UMass students and faculty, construction projects, and university purchases of goods and services are driving a record $8.3 billion economic impact across the five-campus system, according to a new report.

The analysis  also determined that the university system is responsible for nearly 40,000 external jobs across the state, that more than 330,000 university alumni live in Massachusetts, and that the university issues 20,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees each year.

“As a center of undergraduate and professional education, as well as research and innovation, the University of Massachusetts is a key driver of the Commonwealth’s economy and workforce, helping to set Massachusetts apart as it competes, both domestically and globally,” said Mark Melnik, director of economic and policy research at the the UMass Amherst-based Donahue Institute, which authored the report.

Mortgage rates tick up, again

The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages remained at generational highs this week, climbing to 8.01%, up from 7.99% the previous week, according to Bankrate’s weekly national survey of large lenders.

The average rate on 30-year home loans hit its highest point since August 2000, according to Bankrate research. That was before the Sept. 11 terror attacks led the Federal Reserve to slash interest rates, and well before the Great Recession spurred the Fed to keep rates low throughout the 2010s.

The current run-up in mortgage rates reflects a variety of factors: a resilient U.S. economy, the Fed’s ongoing war on inflation and, more recently, a sharp rise in 10-year Treasury yields, which serve as an informal benchmark for 30-year mortgage rates.

“We’ve seen a tremendous run-up in rates,” says Tom Wind, head of Consumer Lending at U.S. Bank. “It’s kind of a shock.”

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