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Mortgage Rates Radar 09/13/2016: Despite Fed concern, mortgage rates holding steady

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages nudged higher, 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 3.54 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates also increased by one basis point, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 2.93 percent.

Recent economic data has been mixed

"The "will-they-or-won't-they" concerns about a potential Fed move have injected volatility into the financial markets of late," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Yields on influential Treasury securities have risen appreciably in recent days, but so far, the effect on fixed-rate mortgages has been slight."

In recent days, a number of Fed voting members have expressed an inclination to start to lift rates again, including Fed Chair Yellen, Vice Chair Fischer, among others. However, the most recent economic data has been mixed at best, suggesting that the Fed might again give the upcoming opportunity to raise the federal funds rate at next week's meeting a pass. Markets seem to be fairly certain that no change will come, but appear to be hedging their bets just in case one does.

Mortgage shoppers should not fear

"The Fed made a move last December among calm markets and mixed economic data, and much of the rhetoric in recent days certainly suggests the vote to raise rates or to hold them steady will be a close one," adds Gumbinger. "Mortgage shoppers shouldn't fear, though, as the direct effect on long-term rates as the result of a move -- whenever it comes -- is likely to be slight. More important is how the central bank describes its intentions for future policy moves, and all indications are that lifting rates will be a long, slow process."

Current mortgage rates

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending September 13, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.54 percent
  • Average points: 0.18

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 2.93 percent
  • Average points: 0.13

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending September 06 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 3.53 percent
  • Average points: 0.18

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 2.92 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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