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Mortgage Rates are Still Low – Average 30 Year Rates are at 3.81 Percent

Mortgage rates today are still low, historically speaking, despite the recent run up. Average mortgage rates increased the past month in anticipation of a fed funds rate increase. The Federal Reserve has increased the fed funds rate for the first time in 9 years.

While mortgage rates are not directly tied to the fed funds rate, long term bond yields are. Increases in the fed funds rate will eventually drive long term interest rate higher, thus forcing lenders to increase mortgage rates. Right now average 30 year conforming rates are at 3.81 percent.

Weekly Mortgage Rates Report at MonitorBankRates.comThe lowest 30 year rates in our rate database for California are even lower at 3.50 percent with 2 mortgage points. You can get a lower rate if you're willing to pay points on a mortgage loan. Getting a lower rate by utilizing points isn't cheap.

Paying 1 mortgage point up front at closing is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. So if the loan amount is $400,000 you will have to pay an additional $4,000 in closing costs. It's best to use a mortgage calculator to figure out if paying points to get a lower rate makes financial sense. You can use a calculator, compare rates, and see how long it will take you to recoup the points you pay.

Current mortgage rates on 15 year conforming loans are averaging 3.00 percent. The lowest 15 year refinance rate in our database for California is much lower at 2.625 percent with 2 points. The lowest rate without points is still below the average at 2.99 percent.

Average Mortgage Rates TodayAverage 30 year jumbo mortgage rates are currently at 4.30 percent and average 15 year jumbo rates are at 4.10 percent. The best 30 year jumbo refinance rates in our database for CA are at 3.375 percent with 2 points and 15 year refi rates are at 2.875 percent with 1.10 points.

This week's National Average Mortgage Rates are listed in the chart to the right:

Author: Brian McKay
December 16th, 2015