HSH.com Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar: Fixed Mortgage Rates Firm Slightly

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HSH.com releases its latest Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar showing a small rise in fixed mortgage rates during the seven-day period ending September 23, the apparent remainder of a three-week increase that lifted rates from summer bottoms. 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).

"Long-term mortgage and other interest rates aren't immune to the Fed's influence, so we may be in for a more volatile mortgage rate period once QE [Quantitative Easing] comes to an end next month."

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages were mixed this week, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by three basis points (0.03 percent) to 4.28 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by two basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.22 percent.

"The small multi-week rise for mortgage rates seems to have run out of steam for now," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Rates climbed from the lowest levels of 2014 over the past few weeks, increasing by about an eighth of a percentage point, perhaps discouraging a few potential refinances but hardly enough to make much of a difference to prospective homebuyers."

Mortgage and other interest rates had been expected to be on the rise this year, but a confluence of events prevented that from occurring. However, with a fairly solid economy and the pending end of the Fed's program to keep rates low, it is likely that at least some minor increase in mortgage rates can be expected during the fall.

"At the end of its most recent meeting, the Federal Reserve laid out plans for managing interest rate policy, so we now know how they will do it, if not exactly when,” adds Gumbinger. “The Fed's own expectation is that it will begin lifting short-term rates in early- to mid-2015, but that may change if the economy allows it. Long-term mortgage and other interest rates aren't immune to the Fed's influence, so we may be in for a more volatile period for mortgage rates once QE [Quantitative Easing] comes to an end next month."

New analysis at HSH.com provides a long-range view of how Federal Reserve policy may affect mortgage rates as we move into 2015 and beyond. See "Federal Reserve Policy and Mortgage Rate Cycles".

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending September 23, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
Average rate: 4.28 percent
Average points: 0.16

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage
Average rate: 3.22 percent
Average points: 0.08

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending September 16 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
Average Rate: 4.25 percent
Average Points: 0.20

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage
Average Rate: 3.24 percent
Average Points: 0.10

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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