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Mortgage Rates

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Search and compare refinance rates and mortgage rates today from many lenders by using our search tool.The rate list below is displaying mortgage refinance rates for a $200,000 mortgage loan in your state. Change the search criteria to receive your own personalized mortgage quotes from many lenders at once.

Mortgage rates slowly drifted higher this week. Average 30 year conforming mortgage rates increased to 4.16 percent, up from 4.10 percent last week. Overall, average 30 year mortgage rates haven’t changed since the beginning of 2017. On January 1st, average 30 year rates were at 4.16 percent, not far from today’s average.

Mortgage rates won’t stay low forever. In fact, rates may start creeping up as early as next week. The Fed meets next week and is widely expected to increase the federal funds rate by 0.25 percent, which will put upward pressure on mortgage rates.

Although mortgage rates are not directly tied to the federal funds rate, they usually move in tandem – either higher or lower because of bond yields. In this case, when the Fed increases the fed funds rate bond yields move higher and as a result, mortgage rates move higher.

If the fed funds rate is increased by 0.25 basis points, average mortgage rates won’t increase by the same amount. There will be more upward pressure on shorter term adjustable mortgage rates than long term fixed mortgage rates.

The Fed is also expected to increase the rate at least two more times in 2017. The end result is that mortgage rates are going up in 2017 and in the years to come. In the most recent MBR Mortgage Finance Forecast released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, average 30 year mortgage rates are expected to hit 4.70 percent by the end of 2017. By the end of 2018, 30 year rates are forecast to hit 5.10 percent.

 
Author: Brian McKay
March 15th, 2017

The relentless rise in mortgage rates continues as 30 year mortgage rates hit another new high for 2016. Average 30 year mortgage rates increased to 4.16 percent this week, up 11 basis points from last week’s average rate.

For the first three quarters of 2016, average 30 year mortgage rates hovered around 3.50 percent, which is just above the historical low of 3.31 percent set in November 2012. During that time, you could find lenders quoting 30 year mortgage rates with points below the historical low and as low as 3.00 percent.

The lowest 30 year mortgage rates today in the rate database are still below the current average of 4.16 percent. The best 30 year mortgage refinance rate available right now is at 3.75 percent with 0.50 mortgage points.

When you apply for a mortgage, you can get a lower mortgage rate by paying points up front. 1 mortgage point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. For example, a $300,000 loan with 1 point would require you to pay $3,000 upfront at closing. You have to decide whether or not paying points makes financial sense for you.

The outlook for mortgage rates in 2017 and the coming years is unfortunately higher. The driving forces behind higher mortgage rates are a stronger economy and the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates. A higher fed funds rate will force U.S. Treasury yields higher which in turn will force mortgage rates higher.

If you’re interested in reading more about the correlation between Treasury yields and mortgage rates, Zacks did a good post on the subject at How Treasury Yields Affect Mortgage Interest Rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting average 30 year mortgage rates will hit 4.40 percent by the second quarter of 2017. Looking out to the end of 2018, the MBA is forecasting average 30 year mortgage rates to hit 4.90 percent. The last time average 30 year mortgage rates were that high was in early 2011.

Historically speaking, 30 year mortgage rates in the 4.00 percent to 5.00 percent range is still rather low. For most of the 2000s, before the financial crisis, average 30 year rates were in the 6.00 percent to 7.00 percent range. 6.00 percent to 7.00 percent also is still low historically speaking.

Ready for a shocker? In the early 1980s, a period of double digit inflation, average 30 year rates were also in the double digits. The absolute all-time high, as long as rates have been tracked, for 30 year mortgage rates was 18.53 percent set on October 13, 1981.

You can view average 30 year mortgage rates on a monthly basis since 1971 at 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Since 1971.

 
Author: Brian McKay
January 1st, 2017