Earlier today, Freddie Mac reported the latest results of their nationwide mortgage rate survey. According to that report, the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages in Washington State and nationwide climbed to 4.65% during the week of September 20, 2018.
Mortgage Rates Rise Four Weeks in a Row
Mortgage rates in Washington have been fairly stable over the last few months. The average rate for 30-year fixed home loans nationwide has been hovering between 4.5% and 4.7% since April of this year. Here we are in September, and average rates are still bouncing around within that range.
But they’ve also been on a gradual rise for the last four weeks in a row. Freddie Mac’s average, for instance, has been inching its way upward since the third week of August. It rose from 4.51% four weeks ago to 4.65% this week (September 20).
The company’s economists pointed to three primary factors that have contributed to the ongoing rise:
“Mortgage rates are drifting upward again and represent continued affordability challenges for prospective buyers – especially first-time buyers. Borrowing costs are moving right now for three main reasons: the very strong economy, higher U.S. government debt issuances, and global trade tensions.”
(The strong economy in the above quote is a reference to GDP and job growth in the U.S. The mention of “trade tensions” refers to the tariffs imposed by the president, along with the retaliatory tariffs that have been imposed by China and the European Union.)
This news of a four-week rise in borrowing costs will likely grab the attention of home buyers in Washington and elsewhere. Especially when you consider it along with the ongoing rise of home prices. Savvy buyers are watching these trends and realizing that it might be best to make a purchase sooner rather than later, to avoid higher costs.
Looking forward, both Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association have predicted that rates will rise gradually between now and this time next year.
Home Prices in Washington Also Keep Climbing
Would it be better to buy a home in Washington now, or wait until 2019? This question is on a lot of people’s minds right now, since we’re well into the second half of the year. For many buyers, mortgage rates are a key factor to consider when deciding when to buy. Home prices are another.
House values across Washington State have risen steadily over the last few years. For a while there, Washington was actually ahead of every other state in the nation in terms of year-over-year price growth.
While things have slowed a bit, economists are predicting that home values in Washington will continue to climb for the foreseeable future.
In September 2018, the housing research team at Zillow wrote: “Washington home values have gone up 7.5% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.0% within the next year.”
Disclaimer: This article includes forward-looking statements (forecasts and predictions) made by third parties not associated with our company. We have presented them here for the educational benefit of our readers.