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Mortgage Rates Radar: Mortgage rates flat, awaiting Fed decision

By   |  Posted in Mortgage Rates Radar

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages eased slightly according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell by three basis points (0.03 percent) to 4.65 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by six basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.44 percent.

"Mortgage markets eagerly await news from the Federal Reserve about the beginning of tapering of quantitative easing," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "The Fed's program of buying up Treasury bonds and Mortgage-Backed Securities has generally kept interest rates lower than they would otherwise have been, benefitting homebuyers and homeowners alike."

The Federal Reserve first began discussing slowing its accumulation of bonds back in May, dropping hints along the way that the beginning of this process might be announced at the close of the Fed's September meeting on September 18. While the announcement of some reduction is expected to come, there is a possibility that the Fed might not make a change until October or even December's meeting occurs.

"The Fed has prepared the market for the change, and the market has largely adjusted to what should be a slow, steady process of reducing bond buys," adds Gumbinger. "If the Fed doesn't make a change, it may inadvertently signal that it thinks the economy is still weak; moving quickly might send signals that the Fed has new concerns over inflation forming in certain financial markets. Either would be outside the market's expectations, and would be disruptive. Hence, the Fed is most likely to move slowly and cautiously, and take pains to carefully describe what they think will happen next, so as to make as few waves as possible."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending September 17, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

-Average rate:   4.65 percent
-Average points: 0.22

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

-Average rate:   3.44 percent
-Average points: 0.13

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending September 10 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

-Average Rate:   4.68 percent
-Average Points: 0.21

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

-Average Rate:   3.50 percent
-Average Points: 0.13

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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