HSH.com Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar: Rates Lower; Fed On Sidelines Longer?

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HSH.com releases its latest Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar showing a decline in mortgage rates in the seven-day period ending October 22, as bond and mortgage markets sense that the Federal Reserve will make no changes to policy at its meeting next week, and perhaps not even this year. The Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar reports the average rates and points offered by lenders for the two most popular types of mortgages, the conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the conforming 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Although economic reports are again flowing, helping to provide a clearer picture of the economy, the picture they reveal may still not be all that pretty, and this too may give the Fed pause for a while longer.

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages legged downward according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by six basis points (0.06 percent) to 4.33 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by seven basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.15 percent.

"Lower mortgage rates are back in the market this week as a result of the government shutdown and restart," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "The as-yet unclear direct economic damage from the shutdown, plus the interruption in the flow of reports about economic growth and inflation, have given the markets reason to believe that the Federal Reserve will not make changes to its policies anytime soon, so rates had some room to fall."

One of the important reports that were delayed in being released was the national employment report for September. It was released Tuesday, almost three weeks late, and showed a lackluster increase of 148,000 new hires for the month, even as the unemployment ticked down to 7.2 percent.

"Although economic reports are again flowing, helping to provide a clearer picture of the economy, the picture they reveal may still not be all that pretty, and this too may give the Fed pause for a while longer," adds Gumbinger. "However, the Fed's stated goal is to extricate itself from direct manipulation of long-term interest rates, and with that goal in mind, they won't be on hold forever."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending October 22, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 4.33 percent
  • Average points: 0.17

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.15 percent
  • Average points: 0.11

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending October 15 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate: 4.39 percent
  • Average Points: 0.23

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate: 3.22 percent
  • Average Points: 0.16

Methodology
The Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar reports the average rates and points offered on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and conforming 5/1 ARMs. The weekly mortgage rate survey covers a large sample of mortgage lenders and is conducted over a Wednesday-to-Tuesday cycle, with data released every Wednesday. HSH.com’s survey helps consumers find the best rates on home loans in changing market conditions. Unlike mortgage rate surveys that report average rates only, the Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar’s inclusion of both average rates and average points provides a more accurate view of mortgage terms currently offered by lenders.

Every week, HSH.com conducts a survey of mortgage rate data for a wide range of consumer mortgage products including ARMs, FHA-backed and jumbo mortgages, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit from hundreds of direct lenders in the U.S. For information on additional loan products, visit HSH.com.

About HSH.com
HSH.com is a trusted source of mortgage data, trends, news and analysis. Since 1979, HSH’s market research and commentary has helped homeowners, buyers and sellers make smart financial choices and save money on mortgage and home equity products. HSH.com, of Riverdale, N.J., is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in ethical marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

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Alex Bryant
HSH.com
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