Summary: Mortgage rates dipped over the past week and hit an all-time low for the third time in the last few months. This has helped purchase demand to rebound after a drop in mid-April, and refinance activity continues to remain high amidst extremely low mortgage rates. In this article, we’ll go over where rates are today and what is affecting them.
Last week’s economic reports included monthly readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, FHFA home prices, and readings on new and pending home sales. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.
Case-Shiller Home Price Indices: Home Price Growth Pace Increased In March
National home prices rose at a year-over-year pace of 4.50 percent in March from February’s reading of 4.20 percent. According to the Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index, home prices rose by 0.40 percent to a year-over-year growth rate of 3.90 percent.
The three cities reporting the highest rates of home price growth year-over-year were Phoenix, Arizona with 8.20 percent year-over-year growth; Seattle, Washington reported year-over-year home prices growth of 6.90 percent. Charlotte, North Carolina reported 5.80 percent home price growth.
Analysts said that Seattle home prices rose despite the Seattle metro area having a large outbreak of Covid-19 in the first weeks of the pandemic. April readings on home price growth are expected to dip into negative readings reflecting the spread of the coronavirus and its increasing impact.
17 of 19 cities reported in the 20-City Home Price Index for March had higher growth rates than in February; the Detroit metro area did not report data for the March 20-City Home Price Index.
The FHFA Home Price Index reported 5.90 percent year-over-year home price growth for March as compared to its February reading of 6.10 percent home price growth. FHFA reports on home sales connected with properties that have mortgages owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
New Home Sales Increase in April as Pending Home Sales Fall
Sales of new homes rose in April although many areas were under stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic. 623,000 new home sales were reported on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to the March reading of 619,000 sales of new homes. Pending home sales were -21.80 percent lower as compared to the March reading of -20.80 percent. Fewer pending home sales reflected impacts of the pandemic as government agencies issued stay-at-home orders and citizens faced financial uncertainty and health concerns.
Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Fall
Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates last week; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were nine basis points lower at an average rate of 3.13 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged eight basis points lower at 2.62 percent and rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.13 percent and were four basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
New jobless claims were lower at 2.12 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.45 million initial jobless claims filed. While fewer claims filed is good news, readings for initial jobless claims far exceeded typical numbers of new jobless claims filed before the pandemic.
Current Numbers for WA, OR, ID, and CO
Washington State mortgage rates hit 3.43% and 3.14% for conforming 30-year mortgages and 5/1 ARMs, and for jumbo loans, the numbers in the state are 4.50% and 2.61% for 30-year mortgages and 5/1 ARMs, respectively. In Oregon, conforming loan rates are 3.54% for 30-year mortgages and 3.23% for 5/1 ARMs. For jumbo loans, the numbers are 3.49% for 30-year mortgages and 3.44% for 5/1 ARMs.
Mortgage rates in Idaho for conforming loans for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is 3.67%, and 3.34% for 5/1 ARMs, while for jumbo loans, the numbers for each loan type are 3.59% and 3.33%, respectively. In Colorado, the rate for conforming loans for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages is 3.47% and 3.00% for 5/1 ARMs. For jumbo loans, the numbers for each loan type are 4.13% and 3.88%.
This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on construction spending and labor sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.
Ready to Apply For a Mortgage in WA, OR, CO, or ID?
Do you have questions about home loans? Are you ready to apply for a mortgage to buy a home? If so, Sammamish Mortgage can help. We are a local mortgage company from Bellevue, Washington serving the entire state, as well as Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado. We offer many mortgage programs to buyers all over the Pacific Northwest. Contact us today with any questions you have about mortgages.