Mortgage rates remain the same for the week of June 16, 2014

Posted by  on Jun 23, 2014

Did mortgage rates really remain the same for the week of May 16? That depends on the sorts of home loans that interest you.

Mortgage rates' ups and downs

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) made up 61.9 percent of all home loans closed in May, and, if you're looking to get one of those, then last week average rates "millimetered down" -- "inched down" would overstate the scale of the movement. HSH.com reports they fell during that period by just one basis point, the smallest measurable amount, to 4.24 percent from 4.25 percent. Points for these held steady at 0.16.

Average rates for 15-year FRMs, which last month represented another 12.1 percent of the market, traveled in the opposite direction, but only by an equally tiny distance. They rose last week to 3.48 percent from 3.47 percent, while points fell to 0.10 from 0.11.

So the 74 percent of the home loans market that comprises FRMs did see rates remaining effectively the same. But the rest, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), saw a bit more activity. For example, average rates for 30-year 1/1 ARMs tumbled to 2.70 percent from 2.93 percent the previous week, while points for these also plummeted: to 0.10 from 0.16.

Our live database of current mortgage rates can help you find the best mortgage rates in your area.

Finding the best mortgage lenders

That last sentence is always included in these reports for a very good reason. As you know, rates vary significantly across the country, so Virginia mortgage rates can be different from those in Texas, which can be different from those in Washington, and so on. Moreover, the 30-year FRM rates quoted here are calculated by averaging rates nationwide for these home loans across all sizes, including conforming, the new expanded conforming and jumbo. So what you end up paying can be higher (boo!) or lower (hooray!) than the numbers shown. We report them so you can follow trends and make informed choices about the timing of your purchase or refinance.

But the rate you finally fix is going to be affected by many more factors than just average rates and your location, including:

  1. Your credit score and history.
  2. The size of the down payment you make (known in the business as your loan-to-value ratio).
  3. The type of loan you choose (FRM/ARM, the term, and whether it's conforming or jumbo).
  4. The lender you select.

Mortgage quotes and lender research

The lender you select can actually make a big difference. Some lenders specialize in particular types of home loans and particular profiles of borrowers. Pick the wrong one, and you may pay more -- or spend maybe the next 30 years with a company that doesn't get you.

All this means that it's important to shop around, to obtain multiple mortgage quotes and to research online the lenders who make your short list. Yes, you're busy with other things. But you're about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, and you owe it to yourself to make the time to get it right.

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