The short holiday week brought a flurry of economic reports last week. Highlights included pending home sales, the S&P Case-Shiller Housing Market Indices and the FHFA home price index. No reports were released on Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Alas, the five-week downward streak has ended. Mortgage rates turned north this week, with the 30-year fixed home loan averaging 4.03%, according to Freddie Mac.
Last week we reported that mortgage rates had dropped for five weeks in a row, reaching their lowest point of the year. That streak ended today, with the publication of the latest mortgage market survey from Freddie Mac. According to the nationwide survey, rates rose a bit during the week of April 27, 2017 in all three of the loan categories monitored by Freddie Mac.
Mortgage Rates and Trends, Updated on April 27, 2017
Here are the latest mortgage rate trends, as of April 27, 2017:
30-year: The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rose a bit this week to land at 4.03%. That’s an increase of six basis points (0.06%) from where it was last week. Borrowers paid an average of half a point at closing. This time last year, 30-year fixed mortgage loans had an average rate of 3.66%. So we’ve come up a bit since then. The 30-year fixed is the most popular type of home loan.
15-year: The average rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also rose from last week. During the week of April 27, 2017, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27% with half a point at closing. A year ago at this time it was averaging 2.89%.
5-year ARM: The average rate assigned to a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) increased by just two basis points this week to reach 3.12%. This is one of the most popular adjustable loans in use today.
According to a Freddie Mac press release that accompanied the latest survey:
“The 10-year Treasury yield rose about 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields, rising 6 basis points to 4.03 percent. Despite recent swings in rates, the housing market continues to show signs of strength — both existing and new home sales in March exceeded expectations, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted another solid gain.”
Home Prices Continue to Rise During Spring 2017
The Case-Shiller Index mentioned above is one of the longest-running measurements of home values in the United States. On April 25, the group reported that home prices nationwide were continuing their upward climb, with a year-over-year gain of 5.8% from February 2016 to February 2017.
Seattle and Portland, two of the areas we service, were singled out in the latest home price report. According to the Case-Shiller Index, Seattle and Portland (Oregon) recorded the highest annual gains among the 20 cities tracked by the index. In February 2017, Seattle home prices were up by 12.2% year over year, followed by Portland with a 9.7% gain.
Is It Time to Make Your Move?
Mortgage rates have been somewhat steady thus far in 2017, and they’re currently a bit lower than they were at the beginning of the year. But the Mortgage Bankers Association recently predicted that rates would inch upward through the end of the 2017.
Home prices meanwhile continue to move north, especially in the states we service, including Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
Which begs the question: Is now a good time to buy a house? This partly depends on your financial and employment situation, as well as you long-term plans. But from a market perspective, now could be a great time to make your move.
Mortgage rates have been up and down this year, and they are notoriously hard to predict. But the general consensus among economists is that home prices will continue rising for the foreseeable future. So buyers who postpone their plans until later in 2017 could end up paying more for a house.