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

Mortgage rates roll back this week

 

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages settled back this week, 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 3.84 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by three basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.10 percent.

Interest rates likely to be normalized in late summer

"Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress last week left markets with the impression that the Fed may wait a little longer before making any changes to rates," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Although they haven't committed to a specific time for ‘liftoff’ for interest rates, it had been expected until recently that early-to-mid summer was the most likely starting point. After her testimony last week, it seems for the moment more likely that it will be late summer to early fall."

Much of the Chairwoman's discussion left the impression that the Fed would like to get the process of normalizing interest rates underway, but that the strength of the economy, labor markets and inflation will dictate the timing and pace of the changes. She also noted that even if the Fed changes the language it uses to describe potential policy actions, it does not mean that an action is imminent.

"Ms. Yellen expressed that a change in language or tone to the Fed's ‘forward guidance’ may not presage any immediate change to policy," added Gumbinger. "For example, they may drop the use of the word "patient", which they have used a number of times to describe how quickly a change in rates may be coming, but even if they do, it will still likely be a couple of meetings or more before a change comes. However, a more data-driven policy stance and a lack of a sense of timing for a coming change may make markets nervous at times, adding some volatility to mortgage rates, even as they remain at low levels."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending March 03, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.84 percent
  • Average Points: 0.13

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.10 percent
  • Average Points: 0.07

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending February 24 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.90 percent
  • Average Points: 0.14

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.13 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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