Mortgage Rates Seesaw since ‘Fed’s Taper Talk’

Fixed-rate mortgages held mostly steady this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage staying below its recent high of 4.51 percent set in mid-July, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

Mortgage rates have been on their way up since early May — spiking more than a full percentage point increase — after the Federal Reserve announced that it would be ending its bond-buying program soon. The Fed’s program has helped to keep  mortgage rates near record lows the past year.

Freddie Mac reports the following averages on rates for the week ending Aug. 8:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.40 percent, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 4.39 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.59 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.43 percent, with an average 0.7 point, holding the same as last week. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 2.84 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.18 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.77 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates Inch Up for Second Week!

Fixed-rate mortgages climbed this week after signs of stronger consumer spending, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

Here are the national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending May 16:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.51 percent, with an average 0.7 point, increasing from last week’s 3.42 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.79 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.61 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.04 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.62 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall

Fixed-rate mortgages sank down near their record lows last week , according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. The low mortgage rates are helping to keep homebuyer affordability high and unlock savings for home owners.

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 13:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.32 %, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 3.34 % average. The record low for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was set last month, averaging 3.31 %. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.94 %.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.66 %, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.67 % average. The all-time low for 15-year rates was also set last month, averaging 2.63 %. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.21 %.

5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.70%, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.69 % average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.86 %.

Source: Freddie Mac

Borrowers Opt for Shorter Home Loan Terms

Record-reaching low interest rates have prompted more home owners to shorten the terms of their mortgages. Thirty-four percent of refinancers changed their loan to a 20- or 15-year mortgage during the first quarter — the highest level in seven years, Freddie Mac reports.

Mortgage companies are also reporting a higher demand for shorter-term mortgages. For example, LendingTree reports that 15-year mortgages have increased 30 percent from a year ago.

Quicken Loans recently debuted a product that allows borrowers to select the term of their mortgage. The most popular mortgage term selected is 8 years, followed by 13 years. 

“Mortgage-burning parties are back,” Bob Walters, chief economist for Quicken Loans, told USA Today.

Shortening the term of a mortgage can save home owners  “tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest costs,” Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, told USA Today. Some borrowers are finding that refinancing into a shorter term may not even increase their monthly payments, since 15-year rates are so low.

However, some borrowers who want to refinance are finding they’re being shut out, experts say. Home owners who don’t have a credit score of 720 or higher or don’t have at least 20 percent in home equity may not qualify for the lowest rates. 

 Source: “More Home Owners Shorten Mortgage Terms,” USA Today (Aug. 15, 2011)

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