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Actions by The Bank of Japan will Help Force Mortgage Rates Lower in the United States

Current actions by The Bank of Japan (BOJ) will help force mortgage rates in the United States lower. The BOJ has started down an unprecedented path of stimulus by announcing their plan to purchase more than ¥100 trillion of Japanese government debt over the next two years. As a result of the BOJ's actions, investors are retreating from the Japanese bond market and looking for higher yields elsewhere in Europe and the United States.

Actions by The Bank of Japan will Force Mortgage Rates Lower in the United StatesInvestors have been purchasing long term U.S. Treasuries which is sending yields lower. When bond prices rise because of investor demand, bond yields move lower. Since the BOJ announced their plans last week, 10 year Treasury yields have fallen from 1.85 percent down to 1.70 percent and have since bounced back to 1.75 percent today. Over the past week both conforming and jumbo mortgage rates have also fallen.

Mortgage rates today on 30 year conforming loans are averaging 3.56 percent, a decline from last week's average 30 year mortgage rate of 3.65 percent. The recent high for average 30 year rates was 3.86 percent just a few weeks ago. Overall, average rates are expected to stay within current levels and will remain under 4.00 percent for the entire year. The forecast is for higher average 30 year mortgage rates in the coming year but rates will also remain under 4.50 percent for all of 2014.

Average 30 year jumbo mortgage rates this week are averaging 3.96 percent, down from last week's average 30 year jumbo mortgage rate of 4.12 percent. Another factor that sent average mortgage interest rates lower this past week was a disappointing unemployment report which showed 88,000 jobs were created in March, lower than the expected number of 200,000.

15 year conventional mortgage rates are also lower this week, averaging 2.78 percent, down from last week's average 15 year rate of 2.91 percent. For the 2013 year, average 15 year rates are expected to remain under 3.10 percent. Average 15 year jumbo mortgage rates today are at 3.34 percent, a decline from last week's average 15 year jumbo rate of 3.51 percent. For 2013, 15 year jumbo rates are expected to remain under 3.75 percent.

If you're thinking about refinancing a 30 year mortgage, you should give serious consideration to a 15 year loan. Depending on your loan amount, you can save tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in mortgage interest by refinancing to a 15 year loan.

Another reason to consider a 15 year loan is that 15 year rates are always lower than 30 year rates. The lowest 15 year conforming refinance rates currently available are around 2.25 percent with points. Compare those rates to the lowest 30 year conforming refinance rates which can be found as low as 3.00 percent you can see the rate benefit of a 15 year loan vs. a 30 year loan.

The same is true for jumbo rates, the lowest 30 year jumbo refinance rates available right now are at 3.50 percent with points. The lowest 15 year jumbo refi rates are at 2.75 percent with points. The only drawback to choosing a 15 year loans instead of a 30 year loans is the monthly mortgage payments will be higher, but if you can afford the higher payments a 15 year loan is the smart choice.
Author: Brian McKay
April 11th, 2013