Mortgage rates slide for fourth straight week

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Financing

Mortgage rates slide for fourth straight week
DEBORAH KEARNS
@DEBBIE_KEARNS
JANUARY 3, 2019
in
MORTGAGES
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If house hunting is on your to-do list in 2019, you’re in luck as mortgage rates continue to slide after reaching a decade-long high in late 2018.

The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.68 percent from 4.75 percent on Dec. 19, according to Bankrate.com’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. (Bankrate.com did not conduct its weekly survey last week due to a holiday break.) Meanwhile, average rates for a 15-year fixed mortgage fell two basis points to 4.11 percent and dropped five basis points to 4.26 percent for a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage.

This is the fourth week in a row that mortgage rates have fallen. Rates for the 30-year fixed topped 5 percent just over a month ago. While rates are retreating, it’s a much different story when it comes to home prices, which continue to edge higher, although at a slowing pace.

Home prices continue to rise
Home prices inched up nationally in November by 5.1 percent over November 2017 and by 0.4 percent from the previous month, according to data from CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index and HPI Forecast. November marked the eighth straight month of slowing annual price gains tracked by the HPI.

 

CoreLogic predicts home-price growth will slow to a 4.8 percent increase from November 2018 to November 2019. That’s in line with expert predictions calling for much slower price growth this year, which could set the stage for a buyer’s market in some areas.

“The rise in mortgage rates has dampened buyer demand and slowed home-price growth,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement. “Interest rates for new 30-year fixed-rate loans averaged 4.9 percent during November, the highest monthly average since February 2011. These higher rates and home prices have reduced buyer affordability.”

As a result, home sellers are being more realistic about market expectations and lowering their asking prices, Nothaft added. That could set the stage for conditions to favor buyers in 2019 and into 2020.

Mortgage rates this week
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.68 percent from 4.75 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.10 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.90 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.42 percentage points below the 52-week high of 5.10 percent, and is 0.50 percentage points higher than the 52-week low of 4.18 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.31 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 4.71 percent. This week’s rate is 0.03 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.11 percent from 4.13 percent.
The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 4.26 percent from 4.31 percent.
The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.55 percent from 4.63 percent.
At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $517.44 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $521.65 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $745.21 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $746.22 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $492.53 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $495.46 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted January 2, 2019 and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:

Weekly national mortgage survey
Breakdown 30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM
This week’s rate: 4.68% 4.11% 4.26%
Change from last week: -0.07 -0.02 -0.05
Monthly payment: $853.77 $1,229.60 $812.67
Change from last week: -$6.95 -$1.66 -$4.84
The “Bankrate.com National Average,” or “national survey of large lenders,” is conducted weekly. The results of this survey are quoted in our weekly articles and national media outlets. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate.com national survey, our Market Analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. We’ve conducted this survey in the same manner for more than 30 years, and because it’s consistently done the way it is, it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison.