It’s the end of a nine-week consecutive rising trend. Seattle 30-year mortgage rates actually dropped during the first week of 2017, after a long uptrend.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan is by far the most popular mortgage product among Seattle home buyers and refinancing homeowners. So the rate trends for this particular loan are closely watched by many people.
And the latest news is good news. Seattle 30-year fixed mortgage rates are showing signs that they might level off in 2017, following a steep climb during the last two months of 2016.
Seattle 30-year Mortgage Rate Trends at the Start of 2017
Shortly after the U.S. presidential election, back in November, mortgage rates began a rapid climb that lasted for nine consecutive weeks. You can see this trend clearly in the chart below, which shows Seattle and U.S. mortgage rates trends over the last 12 months.
Mortgage rate trends through January 5th. Source: Freddie Mac.
This chart accompanied the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) conducted by Freddie Mac. This long-running weekly survey compiles an average of mortgage rates week after week, in three popular loan categories. You’ll notice the steep climb on the far right side of the chart, during November and December of 2016, followed by the drop in rates that occurred the first week of 2017.
The End of a Nine-Week Rising Streak
According to Freddie Mac’s latest report, published on January 5, the “30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.20 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending January 5, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.32 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.97 percent.”
This recent downtrend is good news for Seattle mortgage shoppers. For the last few weeks, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in Seattle had been on a steady rise. This came on the heels of a Federal Reserve announcement concerning a series of interest rate hikes set for 2017. For a while there, we weren’t sure if Seattle 30-year mortgage rates would continue rising or level off. It seemed like there was no stopping them.
Fortunately, for home buyers, the nine-week rising streak has ended. We could see additional increases in the weeks ahead. But it’s nice to see a drop for a change.
A Sense of Urgency Among Home Buyers
Home prices in the Seattle metro area have risen steadily — and significantly — over the last couple of years. Add in the threat of rising mortgage rates, and you have a real sense of urgency among home buyers.
House values in Seattle are expected to continue rising in 2017, adding to the urgency. As a result, buyers who postpone their purchases until later in the year could end up paying more.
The Economic and Housing Research Group at Freddie Mac expects 30-year mortgage rates to average 4.2% in 2017, compared to an estimated 3.8% in 2016. They added: “In 2017, we expect to see some additional interest rate increases following the recent movements.”