Mortgage rates have been floating around a tight window for the past few months now, but we are likely going to see them rise as the end of the year draws nearer. If you’re looking to buy a home or refinance your current mortgage, taking action soon is probably the best bet. Read on for more details.
Where are mortgage rates going?
Rates take one step backwards
It seems like it’s been one step forward and one step backwards for mortgage rates over the past few months. This has kept rates in a very narrow range.
According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has bounced around between 4.47% and 4.66% between late April and now.
Compared to the steep run-up we saw in the beginning of the year, the current mortgage rates environment has been very stable. Here are the latest numbers from today’s PMMS:
- The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage moved down one basis point to 4.52% (0.4 points)
- The average rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage dropped two basis points to 4.00% (0.4 points)
- The average rate on a 5-year adjustable rate mortgage ticked up one basis point to 3.87% (0.3 points)
Here is what the Economic and Housing Research Group at Freddie Mac had to say about mortgage rates this week:
“Mortgage rates were once again mostly flat over the past week, inching backward slightly.
Manufacturing output and consumer spending showed improvements, but construction activity was a disappointment. This meant there was no driving force to move mortgage rates in any meaningful way, which has been the theme in the last two months. That’s good news for price sensitive home shoppers, given that this stability in borrowing costs allows them a little extra time to find the right home.
Unfortunately, don’t expect much relief from the tight inventory conditions plaguing many markets. As seen again last month, new home construction is not picking up to meet demand, and as a result, home prices are still rising at double the pace of income growth.”
Lock now before move even higher
Current mortgage rates are staying in a tight range right now but Fed Chair Jerome Powell reaffirmed that the Federal Reserve is on track to gradually increase the nation’s benchmark interest rate. Right now the general consensus is that that will happen at least one, possibly two, more times this year.
When it becomes apparent that the Fed is about to hike, mortgage rates will move higher. Given this expectation, we believe that the smart decision for most borrowers is to lock in on a purchase or refinance sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the more likely it is that you’ll wind up locking in a higher rate.
Today’s economic data:
Applications filed for U.S. unemployment benefits for the week of 7/14/18 came in at 207,000. That’s down 8,000 from the previous week, putting the four-week moving average at 220,500.
Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey
The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey rose sharply in July, coming in at 25.7. That’s four points higher than the 22.0 that analysts had expected.
Notable events this week:
- Retail Sales
- Empire State Mfg Survey
- Business Inventories
- Industrial Production
- Housing Market Index
- Housing Starts
- EIA Petroleum Status Report
- Beige Book
- Jobless Claims
- Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey