We research, you save.

Mortgage Rates Radar: Mortgage rates gently slip

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-rate mortgages fell by two basis points (0.02 percent) to 4.41 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by three basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.11 percent.

Mortgage rates follow Treasury yields lower

"Just as it appeared that the economic situation was improving after a rough patch, a few new worries surfaced, keeping investors looking for safety," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "That safety is often found in U.S. Treasuries, and as money comes into these, yields decline, with mortgage rates following closely behind."

Global troubles benefit U.S. mortgage shoppers

A report covering manufacturing activity in China sunk to an eight-month low in February, pointing to weakness in an economy which provides significant export growth for many emerging markets. If growth in China's economy has slowed, other economies can expect to feel repercussions; in turn, if investors believe that prospects in these locations have diminished, at least some investment dollars tend to get shifted out of harm's way, often benefitting U.S. mortgage shoppers, if inadvertently.

"Even with the little decline, the reality is that mortgage rates have been wandering up and down for a couple of months now," adds Gumbinger. "The ebb and flow of our own economy hasn't produced any regular upward traction for mortgage rates, and these additional events simply serve to keep downward pressure on them, at least for a while."

Fed meeting today

The Federal Reserve finishes a two-day meeting today. Although no change to monetary policy is expected beyond another reduction to QE purchases, we may see a change to the Fed's "forward guidance" about the timing and any triggers for future policy changes.

Current mortgage rates

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending March 18, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   4.41 percent
  • Average points: 0.19

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   3.11 percent
  • Average points: 0.13

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending March 11 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   4.43 percent
  • Average Points: 0.21

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.14 percent
  • Average Points: 0.08

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.

More help from HSH.com