Mortgage Rates Halt Decline in Latest Week
Jun 13th, 2019 @ 1:50 PM by Amber Nelson
As investor fears about international trade lessened, long-term U.S. mortgage interest rates held steady in the latest week after falling for the previous six, according to Freddie Mac.
The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.82%, with an average 0.6 point during the week ended June 13, 2019, unchanged from the week before. One year ago, the average rate was 4.62%. The 30-year FRM has only increased six times since the beginning of 2019 and is currently near two-year lows.
“Mortgage rates were mostly unchanged from last week due to easing of trade tensions with Mexico which helped stabilize markets,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. “These historically low rates should provide continued opportunities for current homeowners to refinance their mortgages – which, combined with new homebuyer activity – will help sustain the momentum in the housing market in 2019.”
The stock markets were relieved Friday as trade agreements were struck between the U.S. and Mexico after a week of disputes. However, the trade war with China continues to trouble investors. The two issues canceled each other out in terms of bond prices and yields, and in turn mortgage rates.
Other rates continued to fall, however. The average rate on a 15-year FRM fell to 3.26% with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.28% the week before and 4.07% a year earlier.
The 5-year Treasury-indexed adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) slipped to 3.51% with an average 0.4 point, down from 3.52% in the previous week. On a year-over-year basis, the 5-year ARM rate is down 0.32%.
Lower rates have helped demand for mortgage loans pick up over the past month. According to the Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, that increase has pushed mortgage lender profit margins into positive territory for the first time in almost three years. And a majority of mortgage lenders now expect refinance volume to rise, a vote of confidence not seen in the past two years.
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to Loan.com and Mortgage101.com.