Have Mortgage Rates Bottomed Out?

Mortgage Rates Bottomed Out?

Mortgage rates have troughed. Or, so it seems.

According to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 4.00 percent nationwide — roughly the same rate as it’s been for 5 weeks. 

During that times, rates have ranged between 3.97 and 4.02 percent with an accompanying 0.7 discount points, plus “typical” closing costs. Closing costs vary by state and 1 discount point is equal to 1 percent of your loan size.

In other words, to get the weekly, published Freddie Mac rate, borrowers in WA should expect to pay a complete set of fees to their respective lenders. The larger the loan, the higher the costs. “Low-fee” and “no-fee” loans are available, too — typically in exchange for a slightly rate.

A breakdown of the Freddie Mac survey shows that interest rates and discount points vary by region. Typically, states in the West Region offer the lowest rates but with the highest costs. East Region states work in reverse; rates are often highest but the accompanying points are fewest.

The most recent mortgage rate breakdown by region shows :

  • Northeast Region : 4.00% with 0.7 discount points 
  • West Region : 3.96% with 0.8 discount points
  • Southeast Region : 4.06% with 0.9 discount points
  • North Central Region : 3.97% with 0.7 discount points
  • Southwest Region : 4.04% with 0.7 discount points

What’s most notable, though, is that in all 4 regions, rates are well below their 2011 highs. Since mid-April, mortgage rates have been in descent, dropping for 5 consecutive months before reaching to their current, “rock-bottom” levels in early-November.

Since then, however, rates have idled and the forces that combined to make rates low throughout Seattle are subsiding. The U.S. economy is showing signs of a rebirth; the Eurozone is edging closer to solvency; and the housing market is recovering.

So, if you’ve been wondering whether now is a good time to refinance, or whether higher rates will harm home affordability, the answer is yes. Get in touch with your loan officer to review your home loan options because, looking ahead to 2012, mortgage rates look poised to rise.

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