April 16th, 2020 9:26 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stayed flat at near
the record low of 3.58 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large
Total mortgage application volume rose 7.3 percent last week
from the previous week, reports the Mortgage Bankers Association’s 30-year-old
weekly survey. But lenders are also raising their
requirements, making it tougher for borrowers to get a loan.
A year ago, the 30-year rate was 4.34 percent. Four weeks ago,
the rate was 3.88 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.78
percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.36 percent, and is 0.02
percentage points above the 52-week low of 3.56 percent.
The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average
total of 0.32 discount and origination points.
Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.90
percent. This week’s rate is 0.32 percentage points lower than the 52-week
At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $453.52 each month
for every $100,000 you borrow, unchanged from last week.
At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $690.10 each month
for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $689.14 last week.
At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $456.33 each month for
every $100,000 you borrow, down from $460.85 last week.
In the week ahead (April 16-22), 8 percent of the experts
predict that rates will rise, 42 percent of the experts predict a drop in rates
and 50 percent predict that rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or
minus 2 basis points).
“The functioning of the mortgage market is improving, there is
still tons of uncertainty about the path forward for the economy and we’re
getting March economic data that is as bad as feared. All of this points to
lower mortgage rates,” said Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief
financial analyst, Bankrate.
“Economic numbers reported this week have been awful. Retail
sales are at -8.7 percent, the Empire State Index is -78.2, and oil is below
$20 a barrel,” said Jim Sahnger, planner, C2 Financial Corporation Jupiter,
Florida. “The retail sales and Empire State numbers are the worst numbers
posted in their recording. Things aren’t going to get better any time soon. The
only bright spot is for people looking to refinance or buy a home, rates have
improved following their spike from the middle of March. Look for rates to
continue to drift down a bit over the next week.”
Rate watchers want to know if this is the time to jump on low
mortgage rates or if they should wait a little longer in hopes of getting even
deeper discounts on loans. It’s a good bet rates will trend lower or at least
stay at these low levels for many weeks and possibly months to come.
Keep in mind that many lenders have raised their posted rates to
discourage inquiries because they are so busy. It’s important to call the
lender to find out if they can do better than a rate you see online; oftentimes
Jumbo borrowers will find they must cast a wide net to find a
lender because many have exited this market to cut back on risk. In addition,
refinancing with cash out is shrinking as well because lenders are worried
people will lose their jobs and be unable to pay, while home values could
There is also the possibility that the spread between the
Treasury yields and mortgage rates will tighten, which will help drive rates
lower. But with the federal Reserve’s move to intervene in the mortgage-backed
securities market, anyone who wants a mortgage this spring should be able to
snag a super-low rate.
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