We research, you save.

Mortgage Rates Radar: Mortgage rates holding steady amid disappointing economy

By   |  Posted in Mortgage Rates Radar

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages were mixed, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point (0.01 percent) to 4.43 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by two basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.12 percent.

Disappointing economy

"Incoming data about the economy has been disappointing for a number of weeks, but the reasons aren't quite clear," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Harsh winter weather is likely affecting some facets of the data to some degree, but how much is hard to determine. Without a clear path to follow, mortgage rates are mostly wandering sideways, awaiting confirmation of any trend, either up or down."

In recent weeks, softer-than-forecast reports covering retail sales, employment growth, housing, manufacturing activity and other important indicators have all failed to meet expectations or otherwise pointed to a slackening of growth. The most recent estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2013 shows a U.S. growth rate of 3.2 percent. A new update for GDP comes Friday; this figure is expected to be marked down, and the first two months of 2014 seem to be featuring slower growth as well.

The present situation where investors attempt to peer through the haze to get a clearer picture of the true pace of growth is familiar, notes Gumbinger. "In some ways, this is very similar to what we endured in November and December, when the government shutdown produced distorted data for a time. It took a couple of months to see that we actually fared pretty well. Perhaps that will also be the case this time, and the Fed's relatively rosy outlook will come to pass."

Current mortgage rates

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending February 25, according to HSH.com:

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   4.43 percent
  • Average points: 0.18

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   3.12 percent
  • Average points: 0.09

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

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   4.42 percent
  • Average Points: 0.16

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.14 percent
  • Average Points: 0.10

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