Mortgage Debt Rises For First Time Since RecessionLast week was relatively quiet concerning scheduled housing-related news, but the Federal Reserve's financial accounts report, released on Monday, indicated that mortgage debt in the U.S. had increased for the first time since the first quarter (Q1) of 2008.
Summary: Washington State mortgage rates dropped again this week, according to a leading survey. The average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan fell to 4.10%.
Toward the end of last year, a sudden surge in mortgage rates caught the attention of borrowers in Washington State. Since then, however, rates have settled down and even dropped a few times.
The latest industry survey revealed that mortgage rates in Washington State and across the country dropped for the third week in a row. This is based on the weekly survey conducted by Freddie Mac, published every Thursday.
Washington Mortgage Rates Drop Again: April 6, 2017
Earlier today, Freddie Mac published the results of its latest survey of the mortgage market. Their weekly survey goes out to more than 100 lenders nationwide, giving us a good sense of what’s happening in the mortgage market. And their latest update brought more good news for home buyers in Washington State and elsewhere.
According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan dropped to 4.10% this week. That was a decline of four basis points (0.04%) from last week’s average. Mortgage rates in Washington State and across the U.S. have dropped for the last three weeks in a row, easing fears of a sustained rise in borrowing costs.
Here are some highlights from the recent report:
- Freddie Mac’s economic team noted: “After three straight weeks of declines, the 30-year mortgage rate is now barely above the 2017 low.” That year-to-date low point occurred during the week of January 19, 2017, when the average rate for a 30-year loan dropped to 4.09%.
- During the first week of 2017, the average 30-year mortgage rate in Washington State and nationwide was 4.20%. This week’s average (for April 6, 2017) was ten basis points lower than where we were at the start of the year.
- This time last year, the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan was 3.59%, about half a percentage point lower than where it was this week.
Last month, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) predicted that 30-year loan rates would rise to 4.7% by the fourth quarter of 2017. But a lot could happen between now and then, economically speaking. So you have to take such predictions for what they are — an educated guess.
Home Prices Still Trending Upward
Meanwhile, home prices in Washington State continue to rise, as we head into spring of 2017. According to the housing data specialists at Zillow, the median home price in Washington State rose 10.3% over the last year (as of April 2017). The median price climbed to $322,700 in April, its highest level ever. In Seattle, the median is now above $600,000 and rising.
OB Jacobi, president of Windermere Real Estate in Seattle, recently told the Northwest Multiple Listing Service that “there simply are not enough homes to meet the demand of buyers. All of this is pushing up home prices faster than anywhere else in the country and will continue to do so if we don’t see more homes come on the market this spring.”