Last weekâs scheduled economic news was varied, but mortgage rates fell and jobless claims were significantly lower than expected. The minutes for last monthâs FOMC meeting were released, and confirmed the Federal Reserveâs intention to leave its quantitative easing program unchanged at least for the near term.
Summary: Washington State mortgage rates (on average) just sank to their lowest level of 2017. But a key industry forecast suggests they could rise gradually over the coming months.
Are you thinking about buying or refinancing a home in Washington? Waiting for mortgage rates to dip so you can save money? If so, now might be a great time to buy or refinance a home.
According to a leading survey, mortgage rates in Washington State and across the nation dropped to their lowest level of 2017 during the week of August 31. In fact, you would have to go back to November of 2016 to find a better deal on mortgage loans.
So from an interest rate perspective, now could be a good time to buy a house in Washington, or to refinance your existing loan.
Washington State Mortgage Rates Sink to Lowest Point of 2017
On August 31, 2017, Freddie Mac published the results of its latest mortgage rate survey. This long-running survey goes out to more than 100 lenders across the United States, including Washington.
In the latest survey, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan declined yet again to land at 3.82%. (That’s with half a point paid at closing, on average.) That’s the lowest it has been in 2017, to date. The average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan hasn’t been that low since November 2016.
The 15-year fixed mortgage also dipped this week, according to the Freddie Mac survey. The average rate for a 15-year home loan dropped to 3.12%, a slight decline from the previous week and also a year-to-date low.
According to Freddie Mac:
“The 10-year treasury yield fell to a new 2017 low on Tuesday [August 29, 2017]. In response, the 30-year mortgage rate dropped four basis points to 3.82%, reaching a new year-to-date low for the second consecutive week.”
They also hinted at a possible increase in mortgage rates, due to the positive economic data that’s been coming in lately. So while rates are currently at their lowest level of 2017, it might not last long.
Economists with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) also expect rates to rise over the coming months. They recently updated their long-range finance forecast for the U.S. economy. Among other things, the industry group predicted that the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan would rise to 4.3% by the fourth quarter of this year. Beyond that, the MBA expects mortgage rates to gradually increase throughout 2018.
Is Now the Time to Buy or Refinance a Home?
If you’re otherwise prepared to buy or refinance a home in Washington State, and you’ve been waiting for mortgage rates to dip, this might be the time to make your move.
House values across Washington are expected to continue rising through the end of 2017 and into 2018. This is a concern for home buyers, because it gradually reduces their buying power. With mortgage rates at their current low level, and the threat of rising home values ahead of us, one could make a strong argument for buying a home sooner rather than later.
On the refinancing side of things, more and more Washington homeowners are finding themselves in a good position to refinance their homes. That’s because house values have risen steadily over the last couple of years, boosting equity levels. Additionally, we are now seeing some of the best mortgage rates of the last year or so. These two factors combined could make it a great time to refinance your home in Washington, depending on your current mortgage rate and your equity position.