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HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar: Your first report on the mortgage market this week

Mortgage rates level off this week

 

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages hardly moved, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged at 3.97 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates fell by just two basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.99 percent.

Mortgage rates leveling off this week

"Mortgage rates have leveled off after rising for the past four weeks," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "While the rise, of course, isn't welcomed by mortgage shoppers, the increase wasn't very significant and shouldn't change home buying plans to any great degree, even if it does slightly reduce the amount of mortgage a given income can carry."

In a home purchase transaction, there are many moving parts. While the price of mortgage funds is a determining factor in a borrower’s loan qualification, there are other equally important considerations, such as the availability of acceptable homes in desirable locations. Thin inventories of homes for sale are arguably a bigger challenge this spring than the cost or availability of mortgage money, even with the mild rise in rates over the last month. For refinancers, getting the right product at the lowest possible rate is a much greater concern, and some homeowners may head back to the sidelines in hopes that rates will drift down again.

Lock in mortgage rates now to ease home buying process

"The decrease in mortgage rates in late winter and the recent increase both underscore the value of locking in your mortgage rate," adds Gumbinger. "A refinancer who didn't lock their rate has probably seen a decrease in the total value of their transaction. For potential homebuyers, the lack of a lock over the last few weeks has meant an increase in cost and a decrease in purchasing power. In places where prices are rising quickly and competition for properties is very strong, this is a disadvantage. There's no doubt that having your financing lined up and locked in can make the home buying process less stressful."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending May 19, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
-Average Rate:   3.97 percent
-Average Points: 0.21

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage
-Average Rate:   2.99 percent

-Average Points: 0.10

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending May 12 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
-Average Rate:   3.97 percent
-Average Points: 0.14

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage
-Average Rate:   3.01 percent
-Average Points: 0.09

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.

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