The lack of new economic data last week and continued uncertainty about the direction of the economy and the plans of the Federal Reserve meant that mortgage rates stayed almost exactly the same as the previous week.
Mortgage rates fall flat
According to HSH.com, last week the overall average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home loan dropped by a single basis point (0.01 percent) to 4.58 percent. Average rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgage loans fell by just 2 basis points (0.02 percent) to 3.66 percent. FHA-insured, 30-year fixed-rate home loan rates slipped by just 1 basis point (0.01 percent) to an average rate of 4.22 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), remained unchanged at an average rate of 3.32 percent. Compare mortgage rates for your area before refinancing or applying for a purchase loan.
Economic news appears murky
Mortgage rates appear to be stable for the moment and have moved very little over the past few weeks. The rise in rates earlier in the summer has slowed refinancing applications and may be impacting home purchases, but we won't know for sure until the next set of reports on existing and new home sales. Housing starts and building permits were lower in June than in May, which means that builders may be anticipating a slowdown in home purchases later this year.
An improved real estate market and a rise in consumer spending depends on employment, and claims for new unemployment benefits remained low for the week ending August 3. Hopefully this means that more people are getting hired, but July's disappointing new-hire number of 162,000 will need to be upped considerably in August to improve the job situation.
The mortgage experts at HSH.com anticipate that mortgage rates will move very little again this week, perhaps sliding up or down by a few basis points.
Our live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.