Summary: With mortgage rates on their way down, buyers have a chance to buy a home with a more affordable mortgage, making now a potentially great time to get in the market in Washington state.
Home buyers in Washington State and across the nation are capitalizing on the best mortgage rates we’ve seen since October of 2016. During the first week of September 2019, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49%, and the rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage is currently at 3.00%.
September Brings Best Washington Mortgage Rates of the Year
Last week, the government-sponsored mortgage corporation Freddie Mac announced that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 3.49%. To find the last time it was that low, you would have to go all the way back to November of 2016.
In the fall of last year, mortgage rates in Washington State and across the nation were hovering around 4.7% for a 30-year loan. Following the U.S. presidential election in November 2016, rates rose sharply and didn’t slow down much until November 2018.
But mortgage rates have come down since then, sinking just below the 3.5% mark the first week of September 2019. Granted, not all borrowers will qualify for the lowest and best mortgage rates. Washington home buyers with higher credit scores and other positive indicators tend to qualify for better interest rates. But the fact that we are seeing the best rates of 2019 is good news for anyone who is in the market to buy or refinance a house.
Home buyers have noticed these trends, and are now jumping at the chance to lock in the best Washington mortgage rates of the year. So it’s no surprise to see a recent jump in loan applications, as reported by a key industry group.
MBA Reports Small Increases in Loan Applications
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly survey, loan applications among home buyers rose by 5% year over year compared to the same week last year.
According to a September 4 report by the MBA:
“The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.”
The ongoing (to date) drop in mortgage rates is largely responsible for this uptick in home loan applications. Anytime there is a significant drop in borrowing costs, lending activity tends to surge.
The MBA predicts that the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will average 3.7% over the third and fourth quarters this year, which is 0.2% lower than the group’s forecast last month.
It’s also anticipated that lower mortgage rates will spike loan originations by 15% compared to the same time last year, potentially totaling $1.86 trillion by the end of 2019, compared to a mortgage volume of $1.64 trillion in 2018.
Of course, this is just a forecast, and it could prove wrong. But a case could be made for buying a home sooner rather than later, to lock in the best mortgage rates available to Washington borrowers.
Different Products, Different Rates
It’s also worth mentioning that different loan products tend to have different rates. Washington State home buyers seeking the best possible mortgage rate should consider all of their financing options.
For example, the adjustable mortgage loans (ARMs) usually start off with lower interest rates than their fixed counterparts — at least during the first few years. But the ARMs are also less predictable over the long term. So there’s a trade-off to be made.
Have questions? Sammamish Mortgage is a local, family-owned company based in Bellevue, Washington. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region, including Idaho, Colorado, and Oregon. Please contact us if you have mortgage-related questions. Last Updated: [last-modified]