Looking ahead, economic news for this week includes the Existing Home Sales report for April with an expectation of 5.00 million homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis against the March tally of 4.93 million homes sold.Also set for release on Wednesday are the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Minutes for the meeting held April 30 and May 1.
It has been some time since we published our last roundup of mortgage rate trends for Washington State. So here is a look at current rate trends happening in the state, as of fall 2017.
Mortgage Rate Trends for Washington State, Fall 2017
According to the weekly industry survey conducted by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan was 3.94% during the week ending November 2, 2017. During that same week, 15-year fixed mortgage loans had an average rate of 3.27%. The Treasury-indexed 5-year ARM loan held an average rate of 3.23% for the week.
That’s the first important rate trend that Washington mortgage shoppers should know about. On average, loan rates across the state and nationwide have been hovering below 4% (on average) since mid-July 2017.
It’s mostly good news for home buyers who are planning to enter the market soon, and also for some homeowners planning to refinance. Current mortgage rate trends for Washington State are favorable for borrowers of all kinds. We’ve seen some relative stability over the last few weeks.
But there is no telling how long rates will stay at their current low levels. In fact, the latest round of forecasts seem to suggest that borrowers could see higher costs over the coming months. So let’s look at two of those forecasts.
The Latest Forecasts from Industry Analysts
On October 24, 2017, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) updated his long-range forecast for the housing market and the broader economy. Among other things, this report includes a mortgage rate forecast for Washington and the rest of the nation. And clearly, their analysts expect a rising trend over the coming months.
Here are the MBA’s quarterly predictions for 30-year mortgage rates through 2018:
- Q4, 2017 — 4.1%
- Q1, 2018 — 4.3%
- Q2, 2018 — 4.6%
- Q3, 2018 — 4.7%
- Q4, 2018 — 4.8%
It’s notable that the MBA’s economists don’t expect 30-year loan rates to rise above 5% until sometime in 2019. They expect the average rate for a 30-year fixed home loan to stay within the 4% range throughout 2018.
A recently updated forecast from Freddie Mac, released on October 23, offered a similar outlook. It predicted that mortgage rates would rise gradually into next year. Freddie Mac’s market analysts expect that 30-year loan rates will average 4.0% for this year, and rise to an average of 4.4% in 2018.
So while current mortgage rate trends for Washington State remain favorable, we could see a gradual rise going forward. As of the first week of November 2017, the average rate for a 30-year loan was hovering just below 4%. But some economists predict it will rise above that 4% threshold during the first quarter of 2018 — and possibly sooner.
Granted, these forecasts are the equivalent of an educated guess. So there’s always a chance they could prove inaccurate over time. But the general consensus among economists appears to be that borrowers in Washington State and nationwide will encounter higher mortgage costs in 2018.
Rates Can Vary from One Borrower to the Next
Average mortgage rates are useful in the sense that they help us track trends over time. But the rate you receive for a home loan will vary based on a number of factors, including your credit score and the type of loan you use. That’s why it’s best to get a customized rate quote tailored to your particular situation.