Today's Mortgage Rates--Source One
Freddie Mac published on April 8th, 2010 its latest weekly survey of current mortgage rates. The figures show that the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) during the week leading up to publication was 5.21%, up from 5.08% the previous week, and from 4.87% this time last year.
This week's rate is the highest for very nearly eight months, and may well be the start of a long-anticipated slow but unrelenting rise in mortgage loan rates.
Today's Mortgage Rates--Source Two
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its weekly survey April 7th, 2010, and this too showed mortgage interest rates on the rise. In fact, the MBA pegged the average 30-year FRM slightly higher than Freddie Mac, at 5.31%, compared to 5.04% the previous week.
Michael Fratantoni, the MBA's vice president of research and economics, tied the increase to the Federal Reserve's recent winding up of its purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Its 15-month, $1.25 trillion program ended March 31.
Refinancings Sharply Down
The MBA's report also covers the number of mortgage applications--both for purchases and refinancing--made over the previous seven days. During week ending April 2, applications for purchases held steady, but those for refinancings dropped by 16.9%.
This isn't especially surprising. People make decisions to buy a home based on a wide variety of complex reasons, many of which remain potent regardless of the wider economy. Refinancing, on the other hand, is generally driven only by a desire to take advantage of the lowest mortgage rates available. So, as mortgage loan interest rises, refinancing applications pretty inevitably fall off a cliff.
Refinance Now, If You Haven't Already
Of course, people who are still stuck with old higher-rate mortgages shouldn't assume they've missed the boat. They may not still be able to get the very best deals that were available over the last year, but rates are historically still very low. And most experts (including the MBA) think they're only going to increase in the medium and long term, so the window of opportunity is closing.
If you're unsure whether you should refinance, it's fairly easy to work out whether the savings you could make would be worthwhile. Start with this mortgage calculator to see your likely repayments, but don't forget to factor in your closing costs.
And--whether you want to buy a home or refinance--you can get a competitive mortgage quote here.