Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Sept. 20: Waiting on Central Banks

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates were unchanged, while 15-year fixed home loans were up a tick and 5/1 ARM rates were higher Tuesday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage ratespublished by national lenders.

Mortgage rates have wavered only slightly for a week as banks have simply fine-tuned their existing prices.

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Hal M. Bundrick, CFP
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Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Sept. 20

(Change from 9/19)

  • 30-year fixed: 3.67% APR (NC)
  • 15-year fixed: 3.09% APR (+0.01)
  • 5/1 ARM: 3.57% APR (+0.03)

Central banks take center stage

Interest rate watchers are keeping an eye on the Bank of Japan and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee. The decisions of these two central banks Wednesday could provide the next impetus for interest rates to move.

“Keep in mind that Wednesday afternoon brings the FOMC announcement, where the Fed releases its updated policy statement,” Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily, wrote in an analysis late Monday. “Although markets and rates can go either way in response to these events, big, negative reactions tend to happen faster and more abruptly than big, positive reactions.”

Graham said the bond market will likely see significant volatility, regardless of the announced monetary policy decisions.

“In the biggest of pictures, ‘global growth concerns’ remain the driving force behind the long-term trend toward lower rates,” Graham added.

Scott Anderson, chief economist with Bank of the West, says that while the Fed has been sending signals of a short-term interest rate hike, a weaker than expected August payroll report and continued weak economic and inflation data may have pushed back the Fed’s timeline.

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Sept. 20: Waiting on Central Banks originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Sept. 15: Highest Since June

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates were unchanged, while 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates were modestly lower Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders.

Average weekly rates on 30-year fixed-rate home loans are at their highest levels since June 24, according to the NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index.

NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates.
Hal M. Bundrick, CFP
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Mortgage Rates Today, Wednesday, Sept. 15

(Change from 9/14)

  • 30-year fixed: 3.69% APR (NC)
  • 15-year fixed: 3.09% APR (-0.01)
  • 5/1 ARM: 3.54% APR (-0.02)

Mortgage rates sharply higher for the week

Reacting to overseas economic concerns and speculation of a hike in interest rates here at home, mortgage rates have seen increased volatility over the past week. The result: Rates on the most popular terms are sharply higher from one week ago.

“The 10-year Treasury yield rose 18 basis points to 1.73%, its highest level since Brexit,” Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a news release. Brexit was the British referendum that resulted in a vote to leave the European Union. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage followed suit, rising 6 basis points to 3.50% this week. This is the first week since June that mortgage rates were above 3.48%, snapping an 11-week trend.”

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets next week and announces its decision regarding short-term interest rates Wednesday. Many economists expect the FOMC to delay issuing a rate hike until later in the year, most likely to December’s meeting. Most analysts expect a quarter point (0.25%) increase in interest rates.
Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Sept. 15: Highest Since June originally appeared onNerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Sept. 8: Up From July Lows

Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are up, 15-year home loan rates are lower and 5/1 ARM rates are unchanged Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

A Federal Reserve economic analysis released Wednesday said modest growth through late August is tempering the threat for inflation. That may give the Fed enough reason to delay a hike in short-term interest rates later this month. As a result, mortgage rates may see little movement in the coming weeks.

Mortgage rates lower for the week

Mortgage rates dipped this week after an economic report sparked concerns regarding the nation’s soft service economy, which motivated investors to buy into the bond market. Generally, 30-year fixed mortgage rates are back to where they were in mid-August — but well up from their early-July lows.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 2 basis points to 3.44% this week. As mortgage rates continue to range between 3.41% and 3.48%, many are taking advantage of the historically low rates by refinancing,” Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a news release. “Since the Brexit vote, the refinance share of mortgage activity has remained above 60%.”

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Mortgage Rates: Sept. 8, 2016

(Change from 9/7)

30-year fixed: 3.60% APR (+0.02)

15-year fixed: 3.05% APR (-0.02)

5/1 ARM: 3.50% APR (NC)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Sept. 8: Up From July Lows originally appeared onNerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Sept. 1: Uptick, Housing Inequality Widens

Thirty-year, 15-year and 5/1 ARM mortgage rates all rose on Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

The increases, though slight, might mean we’ll see rates heading north from now on. It could be that the honeymoon for rock-bottom mortgage rates is finally over.

Housing inequality gap widens even more

Inequality isn’t just a gender pay or race issue. It’s also glaringly obvious within the U.S. housing market. Over the past 30 years, prices in the 20 priciest housing markets have risen more quickly than prices in the 20 least expensive, according to new research from Trulia. Expensive markets (think San Francisco or Seattle) almost always had more significant price gains compared to less expensive markets like Dayton, Ohio, or Tulsa, Oklahoma.

And the gap has only grown. Trulia reported that the priciest metros were 144% more expensive than the least expensive metros in 1986, but that differential has grown to over 319% today.

The housing-wealth disparity becomes even more stark when looking at homeowners’ return on investment over 30 years. In Rochester, New York, and Wichita, Kansas, the returns have been 85% and 89.9%, respectively, while ROI in San Francisco and San Jose, California, has been a whopping 557.6% and 496.5%. In other words, a homeowner gets an average cash return of approximately $50,000 in Dayton, Ohio — lowest among the survey’s 100 largest metros — compared to nearly $900,000 in San Francisco.

“Both trends suggest that economic convergence — the idea that over time, less expensive markets should ‘catch up’ to more expensive ones — is not taking place,” wrote Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin in a blog post titled “Rich City, Poor City: How Housing Supply Drives Regional Inequality.”

McLaughlin said much of the contrast between rich and poor cities (in terms of homeownership) comes down to two main elements: income growth and new housing construction.

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Mortgage Rates: Sept. 1, 2016

(Change from 8/31)

30-year fixed: 3.64% APR (+0.01)

15-year fixed: 3.07% APR (+0.01)

5/1 ARM: 3.54% APR (+0.02)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Sept. 1: Uptick, Housing Inequality Widens originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Aug. 25: Rates Steady, Home Inventory Skinny

Thirty-year and 15-year fixed mortgages were unchanged Thursday, while 5/1 ARM home loan rates ticked up, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

The bean counters at the banks must have taken last-minute summer vacations. Rates barely budged today, with most lenders apparently satisfied to keep their pricing locked in. Turn out the lights and forward their mail; home loan rates don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Mortgage rates hanging near all-time lows

In fact, mortgage rates have seen little movement in the past week — or the past month, for that matter.

“Treasury yields were little changed from the prior week, and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady at 3.43% this week,” Sean Becketti, chief economist of Freddie Mac, said in a news release. “This marks the ninth consecutive week that mortgage rates have been below 3.5%. Markets are erring on the side of caution ahead of the second estimate for second-quarter GDP and Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech on Friday.”

However, anxious to tap such favorable rates, potential buyers are still facing a limited supply of homes to choose from. While new home sales rose 12% in July, a nine-year high, existing home sales for the same month fell 3%, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The primary culprit behind the decline in July is the lack of homes on the market. We simply can’t see growth in sales without having enough homes to sell,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com, said in a release. “This has been the case for 47 straight months, a situation that has bolstered home prices but made it tough for people to find a home for sale that meets their needs.”

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Mortgage Rates: Aug. 25, 2016

(Change from 8/24)

30-year fixed: 3.60% APR (NC)

15-year fixed: 3.05% APR (NC)

5/1 ARM: 3.51% APR (+0.01)
Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Aug. 25: Rates Steady, Home Inventory Skinnyoriginally appeared on NerdWallet.

Nearly Half of Couples Chip In Equally for Home Down Payment, NerdWallet Finds

When it comes to purchasing a home, 41% of Americans who bought their current home with a partner* reported that both partners contributed equal amounts of money toward their down payment, according to a new NerdWallet survey.

NerdWallet commissioned an online survey, conducted in June 2016 by Harris Poll, of more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The poll delved into how homeowners sourced their down payments and what their common disagreements and fears were during the process.

Key takeaways

Among Americans who bought their current home with a partner:

  • 11% of women contributed all or more to the down payment than their partner.
  • 29% of adults in the Northeast contributed all or more of the down payment than their partners did, while only 17% of adults in the West contributed all or more than their partners.

Three in five homeowners are unsure how much they saved monthly toward a down payment for their current home

In general, homebuyers can expect to pay as little as 3.5% down for an FHA loan, or up to 20% of a home’s purchase price for a conventional loan, as a down payment, not to mention needing additional cash on hand for closing costs.

NerdWallet’s survey found that homeowners who recalled how much they saved for a down payment on their current home, individually saved an average of $1,078.50 monthly for that purpose. However, 60% of homeowners said that they weren’t sure how much money they individually saved on a monthly basis, which might suggest a lack of budgeting and planning.

Other savings trends

  • It took homeowners who needed to save an average of three years before purchasing their current home.
  • One in four homeowners saved money individually, on a monthly basis, to put toward the down payment of their current home.
  • 42% of millennial homeowners (ages 18-34) saved individually, on a monthly basis, for a down payment when they purchased their current home, while only 29% of Gen X homeowners (35-54) did the same.
  • More than half (52%) of millennial homeowners needed to save money before purchasing their current home.
  • Significantly more male homeowners needed to save up before buying a home (47%) compared with female homeowners (32%).

Tips for getting a mortgage you can afford

Finding the right house is just the first step. There are some practical ways to get a home loan that fits your needs — and your budget. Some tips include:

  1. Clean up your credit.
  2. Look for homes at the lower end of your budget.
  3. Shop around for the right lender.
  4. Consider the costs of owning a home.
  5. Focus on needs, not wants, in your home search.

Read additional survey results in the full story.

* “Partner/partners” refers to homeowners who purchased their current home with a partner or spouse.

Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, Aug. 5: How Today’s Jobs Report Will Move Interest Rates

Thirty-year mortgage rates are unchanged Friday, 15-year fixed home loans moved a tick higher, and 5/1 ARMs were unchanged, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates posted by national lenders this morning.

There was little direction for mortgage rates prior to this morning’s jobs report. But that report may not be good news for interest rate watchers.

How the jobs report may move mortgage rates

This morning’s U.S. employment report has the potential to influence mortgage rates, as the bond market reacts to the news and lenders reprice their loan offerings. Bad news for the economy is usually good news for mortgage rates. However, today’s jobs report was much better than economists’ expectations, with nonfarm payroll employment up by 255,000.

“The best scenario for the bond market is rising unemployment, a sizable loss of jobs and little change in earnings,” Al Bowman, with Mortgage Commentary Services in Tampa, Florida, said in a report to clients. “Due to the importance of these readings, we will most likely see quite a bit of volatility in the markets and mortgage pricing following their posting, especially after the surprises of the past couple months in this data.”

With the good economic news from the July jobs report, mortgage rates are likely to see some pressure to move higher through the remainder of today and into next week.

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Purchase Mortgage Rates: Aug. 5, 2016

(Change from 8/4)

30-year fixed: 3.59% APR (NC)

15-year fixed: 3.00% APR (+0.01)

5/1 ARM: 3.46% APR (NC)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, Aug. 5: How Today’s Jobs Report Will Move Interest Ratesoriginally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, July 29: Fixed-Rate Loans Move Lower

Thirty-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates are down Friday while 5/1 ARMs are steady, according to a survey of national lenders by NerdWallet.

For 30-year fixed home loans, this is only the second move lower since July 7.

Mortgage rates higher while homeownership falls to all-time low

In recent weeks, mortgage rates have crept higher but remain near historic lows. However, low interest rates haven’t been enough to encourage new buyers, as the rate of homeownership has fallen to a record low.

In a new report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of homeownership in the nation fell to 62.9% in the second quarter. That’s the lowest homeownership rate since the bureau began tracking the metric in 1995.

Second-quarter 2016 homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest (67.7%) and lowest in the Northeast (59.2%) and West (57.9%), according to the report. Homeownership rates were highest for householders 65 and over (77.9%) and lowest for adults under 35 (34.1%).

The Census Bureau also reported that the median asking price for a vacant home for sale during the second quarter of this year was $164,500, a figure that’s risen over the past four years. However, it’s still significantly lower than the over $200,000 median home price recorded just before the housing crash in 2006-2007.

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Purchase Mortgage Rates: July 29, 2016

(Change from 7/28)

30-year fixed: 3.64% APR (-0.02)

15-year fixed: 3.03% APR (-0.04)

5/1 ARM: 3.43% APR (NC)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, July 29: Fixed-Rate Loans Move Lower originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Refinance Rates Today, Friday, July 22

Thirty-year fixed mortgage refinance rates are unchanged Friday, while 15-year fixed loans are just a tick higher; 5/1 ARM refinance rates are unchanged, according to a survey of national lenders by NerdWallet.

NerdWallet compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular mortgage refinance terms:

Refinance Mortgage Rates: July 22, 2016

(Change from 7/21)

30-year fixed: 3.74% APR (NC)

15-year fixed: 3.08% APR (+0.01)

5/1 ARM: 3.46% APR (NC)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

The article Mortgage Refinance Rates Today, Friday, July 22 originally appeared on NerdWallet.