While mortgage rates have been fairly steady over the last few weeks, they’ve risen quite a bit since the start of the year.
During the first week of January 2018, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan was 3.95%. That’s based on the weekly industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac. When this article was published, in mid November 2018, that average had risen to 4.94%.
So based on this particular survey, the average rate for a 30-year home loan rose by nearly 1% during the first ten months of the year.
Which begs the question: What are mortgage rates in Washington likely to do in 2019? Will they level off in their current range, or start another upward trend? Here’s what the experts think, as of November 2018.
Forecasts Predict That Rates Could Hover Near 5%
While no one can predict future rate movements with complete accuracy, there appears to be some consensus among the experts. For example, economists from both the Mortgage Bankers Association and Freddie Mac recently predicted that 30-year mortgage rates would end up averaging 5.1% in 2019.
That’s not far from where we are right now. So these forecasts suggest that we could see some relative stability over the coming months, at least where long-term mortgage rates are concerned.
Of course, these kinds of predictions have been off in the past. And they could miss the mark in the future as well. But it’s nice to know that industry watchers don’t expect a major spike in lending rates anytime soon.
Some Homeowners Could Still Refinance
Rising interest rates have closed the mortgage refinancing “window” for many homeowners. But some could still take advantage of current market conditions.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, millions of homeowners across Washington State and nationwide have missed their opportunity to refinance due to rising rates. But there are others who could still benefit from refinancing their existing mortgage loan into a new one. Nearly 1.9 million homeowners fall into the latter group, according to the analytics firm Black Knight.
The mortgage rate forecasts mentioned above suggests that lending rates could remain fairly stable over the coming months. If that happens, some homeowners in Washington might benefit from refinancing even as we move into 2019.
Home Buyers: Keep an Eye on Rising Prices
Home prices across the state of Washington have slowed a bit in recent months. They are now approaching a historically “normal” rate of appreciation. But slowing is not the same as stopping.
The latest real estate forecasts suggest that home values in most parts of the state will continue rising straight through 2019. And that seems like a pretty safe bet, when you look at current trends within the housing market. There are more homes for sale today than in the past, but inventory is still falling short of demand. So prices are moving north.
Here’s a summary of key points from this article:
- The latest forecasts from key industry groups suggest that 30-year mortgage rates in Washington and nationwide could hover near 5% during 2019.
- Despite these predictions, we will most likely see some ups and downs along the way (as usual). Interest rates can chance from one day to the next.
- While rising mortgage rates have closed the refinancing window for many homeowners, some still have an incentive to refinance.
- Meanwhile, home prices across Washington State continue to rise. This trend is expected to continue through the end of 2018 and into 2019.
- Even if mortgage rates remain fairly stable, home buyers who postpone their purchases until later in the year could encounter higher housing costs.
Have mortgage questions? We’ve been serving borrowers across the state of Washington and the broader Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years. Please contact us if you have financing-related questions. We’re here to help!