Mortgage Rates

Headed for another refi boom?

Freddie Mac mortgage rates 2010-2011

Mortgage rates are falling, falling, falling.

On a wave of uncertainty about Greece and its debt; and weaker-than-expected economic data at home, conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have fallen to levels not seen since December 2, 2010.

Mortgage rates have dropped 8 weeks in a row. Not even last year’s Refi Boom produced an 8-week winning streak. This season’s streak is historic.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage now averages 4.49% nationally, down 42 basis points, or 0.42%, since early-April. For every $100,000 borrowed, that equates to a monthly savings of $25.24.

Adjustable-rate mortgages have shed even more, giving back 50 basis points since the streak began.

Because of low rates, it’s an excellent time to buy or refinance a home relative to just a few weeks ago. Note, though, that depending on where you live, you may find your quoted interest rates to be slightly higher or lower than what Freddie Mac reports in its survey. This is because the Freddie Mac figure is a national average.

Mortgage rates and fees vary by region:

  • Northeast : 4.49 with 0.6 points
  • Southeast : 4.52 with 0.8 points
  • North Central : 4.52 with 0.6 points
  • Southeast : 4.52 with 0.6 points
  • West : 4.45 with 0.8 points

You’ll notice that, in the West Region, rates tend to be low and fees tend to be high; in the North Central Region, the opposite is true.

Is there a particular rate-and-fee setup that suits you best? The good news is that you can ask for it — no matter where you live.

If having the absolute lowest mortgage rate is more important to you than having the absolute lowest fees, ask your loan officer to structure your loan in the “West” style. Or, if low costs are more your style, ask for them.

Mortgage rates appears as if they’re headed lower but don’t forget how quickly markets can change. Once they do, mortgage rates should spike. Exploit today’s market while you still can.

How Recent Market Changes Can Affect You

rates

As the Real Estate and financial markets continue to move up and down, mortgage rates can also be affected. Since mortgage rates are more closely tied to the bond markets, an up or down move in the stock market may not have the result in mortgage rates that one might expects. In fact, many times the resulting mortgage rate changes are counter-intuitive.

More importantly, rates change daily and they can change quickly. Some mortgage professionals have recently noted that their rate quotes have only had shelf lives of three to four hours before market changes have deemed them inaccurate.

How does a consumer navigate fast changing markets in order to refinance their existing loan or purchase a home with the most favorable terms possible?

  1. Plan – Define your needs ahead of time, do not wait until the last minute. This is especially true of home purchases.
  2. Consult – Talk to your mortgage professional on a regular basis so they can interpret recent market events to you and communicate how those events can affect you.
  3. Execute – When you have defined your needs and have determined that now is the best time to move forward, don’t shop yourself out of a good loan! What does this mean? It is easy to get caught up in shopping for the best rate, but it is not uncommon for home owners to miss locking their loan at a great rate because they are in search of better rates that do not exist or that they do not qualify for. It is important to shop to insure you are getting the best rate possible, but set limits to the number of companies you are going to consider doing business with and be careful of having your credit report needlessly and more times than is necessary!