Releases Mortgage Rates Update - How Economies at Home and Abroad Are Impacting Interest Rates

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This week's mortgage rate report shows almost no change in interest rates since last week. The weekly mortgage report explains the current rates for 15 year and 30-year fixed mortgages, what is affecting interest rates and what is likely to impact mortgage rates in the days and weeks to come.

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The forecast from last week's mortgage report was almost dead on when it was predicted that mortgage rate movement wasn't likely to be more than 5 basis points. Home buyers and refinancers are enjoying seriously low rates that only moved up 1 basis point on 30-year fixed mortgages and went down 1 basis point for 15-year fixed mortgages.

Current interest rates are:

  • 4.11% - average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage
  • 3.34% - average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage

Mixed economic and housing reports from last week caused there to be nearly no change in mortgage interest rates. Though overall things seem to be improving, caution is being taken to keep the economy and real estate markets moving in that general direction. Being able to get a low interest rate is one of the most appealing factors to today's buyers so there's no rush to start moving the needle upward.

This week is there are few economic reports that will have a direct effect on mortgage interest rates. However, the most significant happening this week include:

  •     HARP 2.0 Announcements
  •     Thursday - Greek Bail Out Bond Swap
  •     Friday - February Jobs Report

A few weeks ago the government announced that the HARP program would be underway soon, giving many homeowners the opportunity to refinance for lower rates and monthly payments. Also just announced is that HARP 2.0 will go into effect March 16. HARP 2.0 builds on the 2009 program but with a few significant changes, including removing the cap that limited refinance loans to no more than 125% of the home's value.

Thursday the first big step in the bailout of Greece was underway. As a condition of the bailout, and for the country to avoid default, Greece's creditors had to agree to swap old bonds for new ones at a lower value and interest rate. All in all investors are set to lose 74% of the value of their investment. Despite the loss, everything was finalized by Friday and the European economy avoided a potential disaster.

On the other side of the Atlantic things are looking up for America's economy. The February Jobs report was released on Friday and showed that jobs market continued to improve adding 227,000 jobs. While that number is slightly lower than last month, it's higher than what economists had expected. The unemployment rate remained at 8.3% for the second month in a row. is forecasting that mortgage rates will likely move sideways or drop a basis point or two next week. Investors are still going to be very cautious about Europe's economy and at the moment the U.S. appears to be a much safer bet. However, even though the economy's improving the real estate market still has a way to go and low mortgage interest rates helps keep the momentum going.

To find more information on mortgage rates, the newest home listings and local real estate agents, please visit:

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