We work hard to bring you the latest Seattle mortgage news, so you can make informed home-buying and borrowing decisions. And this time, we have some good news for Seattle home buyers and mortgage shoppers. Rates dropped for the third week in a row this week, with the average rate for a 30-year home loan landing at 4.09%.
Seattle Mortgage News Update: January 19, 2017
Here are some of the latest Seattle mortgage news stories you should know about, as we close out the third week of January.
- Rate trends: Average mortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row this week, according to the latest industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac. This three-week downtrend comes on the heels of a sharp spike that occurred at the end of 2016.
- Current averages: The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.09% during the week of January 19, 2017, according to Freddie Mac. At the end of 2016 the average was 4.32%, so it has come down 23 basis points (0.23%) since then.
- Forecasts: The latest long-term forecast from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) suggests that the average 30-year loan rate will rise to 4.7% by the end of 2017. This forecast was issued in mid-December. We expect to see an updated forecast sometime this month and will keep you informed.
- Federal Reserve: On January 18, 2017, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said that it “makes sense” for the central bank to gradually raise the short-term federal funds rate over the coming months. This could indirectly lead to a gradual rise in mortgage rates as we move further into 2017.
- Loan limits: Here’s some good mortgage news for Seattle-area home buyers. Conforming loan limits for the entire metro area have gone up for 2017. The conforming limit for a single-family home in Seattle has been raised to $592,250. This was done in response to rapidly rising home values in the area. FHA limits have also gone up for 2017, rising more than $50,000 over last year’s cap.
- FHA insurance: In other Federal Housing Administration mortgage news, HUD recently announced that it will be lowering the annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) that most borrowers have to pay when using an FHA loan. The annual MIP will go down by 25 basis points, or 0.25%, starting later in January. Learn more here.
That about covers it for Seattle mortgage news. Here’s a quick roundup of the latest housing market headlines.
Local Housing Market Still on Fire
The Seattle housing market continues to sizzle, and is generating headlines for a number of reasons.
According to a recent report by the real estate data company Zillow, Seattle is expected to be the second-hottest housing market in 2017, behind Nashville, Tennessee. In a related press release, the company stated:
“Today, Zillow® announced its predictions for 2017’s 10 hottest housing markets. Topping the list this year is Nashville, Tenn. followed by Seattle, a market with home value growth in the double-digits and some of the fastest rent growth in the country.”
To create their ranking, Zillow looked at cities with a combination of rising home values, low unemployment, and strong income growth.
In other news, a new report from Realtor.com reinforced something we already knew — there aren’t enough homes for sale to satisfy demand. By their estimation, Seattle had the second-lowest rate of homes for sale in the U.S., right behind San Francisco. It’s one of the tightest housing markets in the country, at the start of 2017. So home buyers entering the market should be prepared for stiff competition.
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