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.
FHA mortgage rates in Washington State have been hovering below 3.5% since the end of June. And yesterday, Freddie Mac reported only a minor change in its long-running mortgage rate survey.
This is good news for Washington home buyers who are thinking of using an FHA loan to buy a house. Locking in a low rate now could shield you from potential interest hikes down the road.
The Latest Mortgage Rate Trends
Yesterday, Freddie Mac reported the latest results of its weekly mortgage industry survey. Here are the averages for conventional and FHA loan rates across Washington State and the U.S., for the week ending August 19, 2016:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan had an average rate of 3.43%, a slight decline over last week.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.74% this week, also a bit lower than last week.
- The 5/1 ARM loan rate actually rose a couple of basis points, landing at 2.76% this week.
According to Freddie Mac, borrowers who locked in these rates paid an average of 0.4 to 0.5 points at closing. To learn more about this particular survey, you can visit www.freddiemac.com/pmms.
FHA Loan Rates Below 4% All Year
The average mortgage rate for an FHA loan in Washington State has been hovering below 4% since the beginning of this year. In fact, it has come down quite a bit since then.
According to the weekly survey mentioned above, the 30-year rate average was 3.97% during the first week of 2016. That means current FHA rates (reported on August 18) are more than 50 basis points lower than they were at the start of this year.
Granted, these are average mortgage rates we’re talking about. The rate you receive on a home loan may differ from the averages reported above, due to a number of factors such as loan features and credit qualifications.
But the overall trend here is undeniable. Apparently, there hasn’t been very much upward pressure on mortgage rates in recent months.
The economic team at Freddie Mac said as much in their latest survey report:
“For eight consecutive weeks mortgage rates have ranged between 3.41 and 3.48 percent. Inflation is not adding any upward pressure on interest rates as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index was unchanged in July.”
So that’s where Washington State FHA loan rates are right now. As for where they might be headed, you can read a few expert predictions right here.
A Popular Program for Washington Home Buyers
Home prices in Washington State have soared in recent years, and they are expected to continue rising into 2017. But the FHA loan program is still a viable option for many home buyers in the state, despite rising house values.
In most counties across the state, FHA loan limits are still higher than median home prices. This means that home buyers who use the program should have plenty of properties to choose from, without exceeding FHA loan limits.
Of course, the Seattle metro area is a different story. The median home price in Seattle is now slightly higher than the 2016 FHA loan limit for King County. So buyers in the Seattle area might have to look a little harder to find a property within those limits.
(On a side note, there’s a chance FHA loan limits will go up in 2017, for some counties in Washington State. The same goes for conforming and VA limits. That’s because they are based on median home values, and those values have risen steadily over the last year. We’ll know more in November or December, when next year’s loan limits will be announced.)
FHA loans are particularly popular among first-time home buyers in Washington State, though they’re certainly not limited to this group. In many cases, first-time buyers lack the funds for a large down payment. So the 3.5% down payment that’s allowed under the FHA loan program can be very appealing to these borrowers.
Get a Quote Today
Are you planning to use an FHA loan to buy a home in Washington State? If so, we can provide you with an instant rate quote to help you move forward. We can also answer any questions you have about this mortgage program, and how it might benefit you as a borrower.
Sammamish Mortgage has been proudly serving borrowers across Washington State for more than 20 years, and we welcome the opportunity to help you as well.
Click here to get a rate quote, or contact us with any questions you have.
Disclaimer: This story contains FHA loan rate trends for Washington State and across the nation. The averages reported above are based on the weekly survey conducted by Freddie Mac. Mortgage rates vary based on several factors, including geography, loan features, and borrower credit history. Please contact us if you would like to receive a quote.