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Mortgage Rates Radar 08/23/2016: Mortgage rates show little movement

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages barely moved again, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by one basis point (0.01 percent) to 3.51 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates increased by two basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.90 percent.

Is a rate hike in the works?

"Mortgage rates remain in virtual stasis," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Quiet financial markets, no imminent threat of a move by the Federal Reserve as of yet and continuing moderate economic data have seemingly lulled markets to sleep for now, but that probably won't last forever."

In recent days, several Federal Reserve Bank presidents have made statements to the effect that the Fed remains likely to raise rates at some point before long. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer noted this week that the Fed is starting to feel that they are close to inflation and employment targets, a signal that a rate hike is in the works. The next Fed meeting to discuss policy moves is on September 20-21.

Rates drifting in a soft pattern

"Despite some increased probability of a rate hike by the Fed, interest rates remain closer to bottoms than not," added Gumbinger. "We may get some additional indication of the Fed's intentions from Fed Chair Janet Yellen when she speaks at a global central banking conference in Wyoming on Wednesday, but probably not much in terms of a clean, clear signal that the Fed is poised to act. More likely is that mortgage and other rates keep drifting along in a soft pattern until we get a lot closer to the next Fed meeting."

Current mortgage rates

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending August 23, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.51 percent
  • Average points: 0.23

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 2.90 percent
  • Average points: 0.17

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending August 16 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.50 percent
  • Average points: 0.19

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 2.88 percent
  • Average points: 0.14

Methodology

The Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar reports the average rates and points offered on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and conforming 5/1 ARMs. The weekly mortgage rate survey covers a large sample of mortgage lenders and is conducted over a Wednesday-to-Tuesday cycle, with data released every Wednesday. HSH.com’s survey helps consumers find the best rates on home loans in changing market conditions. Unlike mortgage rate surveys that report average rates only, the Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar’s inclusion of both average rates and average points provides a more accurate view of mortgage terms currently offered by lenders.

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