On this page we have collected all of our written mortgage rates updates from 2013.

 


Rates Drop on Low Inflation Report

Submitted on March 21, 2013

Fixed-rate mortgages headed back down this week, reversing last week's spike that sent rates to their highest levels since late summer.

 

Average interest rates on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the industry standard, dropped to 3.54 percent this week, down from 3.63 previously, according to today's weekly Freddie Mac rate survey. Average rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular among those who are refinancing, fell to an average of 2.72 percent, down from 2.79 percent last week

Initial interest rates on 5-year Treasury indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were unchanged at 2.61 percent.

Low inflation keeping rates down

Frank Northaft, Freddie Mac chief economist, said subdued inflation has been keeping

Fewer Loans Delinquent, Underwater

Submitted on May 6, 2013

Fewer homeowners are falling into financial difficulty with their

Mortgage Rates Climb for Second Week

Submitted on May 16, 2013

Mortgage rates are up for a second straight week, with both 30- and 15-year fixed-rate loans posting significant increases following indications of stronger consumer spending.

 

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.51 percent in this week's Freddie Mac rate survey, up from 3.42 percent previously, while the average on 15-year fixed-rate loans rose to 2.69 percent, up from 2.61 percent last week.

Initial interest rates on adjustable-rate mortgages showed a smaller increase, with the average on 5-year Treasury-indexed ARMs up to 2.62 percent, compared to 2.58 percent last week.

Follow retail sales, debt trends

Rates were up in the wake of several positive economic developments, including much-stronger than expected figures for consumer spending from the Census Bureau. Advanced retail sales were up 0.1 percent in April, confounding market forecasts of a 0.3 percent decline. Excluding sales of gasoline and other automotive-related items, retail sales had their second consecutive monthly increase of 0.5 percent.

Other encouraging economic signs came from the New York Federal Reserve, which reported that U.S. household debt fell by $110 billion in the first quarter of the year, while new figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association indicate that the number of homeowners with seriously delinquent mortgages (90 days past due) has fallen to 3.0 million, down from a peak of 5.1 million in late 2009.


Rising Rates Put Chill On Refinancing

Submitted on May 22, 2013

Rates Finally Ease, Then Surge Again

Submitted on June 20, 2013

Fixed mortgage rates declined this week for the first time in a month and a half, but it may have been only a temporary reprieve.

 

Rates were down across the board in today's weekly survey by Freddie Mac, but early indications suggest a sharp jump following the release of the latest policy statement from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.93 percent this week, down from 3.98 percent the week before, based on mortgages with an 80-percent loan-to-value ratio with an average of 0.8 discount points. The average on 15-year fixed-rate loans dropped to 3.04 percent with 0.7 discount points, down from 3.10 last week.

Spike follows Fed statements

That marked the first time either rate had dropped since the first week of May, when rates began climbing sharply off their all-time lows. However, some reports this morning suggest that fixed rates jumped by as much as one-tenth of a percent following yesterday's statements from the Fed and follow-up remarks by Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Adjustable-rate mortgages held steady this week, with average initial rates on 5-year Treasury-indexed ARMs unchanged at 2.79 percent with an average of 0.5 discount points.

Yesterday's Fed statement indicated growing confidence in the economy but also expressed the Fed's intention to maintain its economic stimulus efforts for the time being. A statement later that afternoon by Bernanke suggested the Fed might begin to rein in those efforts, which involve purchasing Treasury bonds to promote low interest rates, in mid-2014.

Mortgage rates have been rising sharply since the last meeting of the Federal Reserve board six weeks ago, when the Fed signaled it might begin to scale back its purchases of Treasury bonds earlier than anticipated.


Rates Steady for Second Week

Submitted on August 15, 2013

Mortgage rates have held steady for a second consecutive week, with only minor changes in the major loan types, according to today's weekly rate survey from

 

Rates Ease a Bit on Housing Reports

Submitted on August 29, 2013

Mortgage rates eased somewhat this past week, as signs the housing recovery may be slowing down quieted speculation that the Federal Reserve would start to cut back its purchases of Treasury bonds next month.

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 4.51 percent in the weekly Freddie Mac rate survey, down from 4.58 percent last week, while the average on 15-year fixed-rate loans dropped to 3.54 percent, down from 3.60 percent previously.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were headed the other way, with average initial rates on 5-year Treasury indexed ARMs rising to 3.24 percent, up from 3.21 percent previously.

All rates are based on mortgages with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio; fixed-rate mortgages include an average of 0.7 points in fees and discounts, while the ARM includes 0.5 points.

All eyes on the Fed

Speculation has been growing that in September the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its program of Treasury bond purchases, which has played a major role in keeping interest rates low. However, a sharp drop in new home sales last month, coupled with early indications that existing home sales may be softening as well, dampened those expectations somewhat.

"The Fed is monitoring the housing market closely after the run up in mortgage rates over the past few months," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "The 13.4 percent drop in new home sales in July (as reported by the Census Bureau) led financial markets to speculate whether the Fed might delay reducing its bond purchases and allowed long-term bond yields and fixed mortgage rates to decline over the week."

In addition to the decline in new home sales, the National Association of Realtors reported this week pending home sales (signed contracts for home purchases) were down 1.6 percent in July, apparently in response to rising mortgage rates.

Mortgage Rates Fall Again on Shutdown

Submitted on October 03, 2013

Fixed mortgage rates have fallen for the third week in a row, with the government shutdown and declining consumer confidence continuing the momentum begun by the Fed's decision to hold off on reducing its economic stimulus.

 

Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans dropped to 4.22 percent this week, down from 4.32 percent last week, according to the today's weekly Freddie Mac rate survey. That's down more than one-third of a percent from the 4.57 percent level where the rate stood three weeks ago, just before the Fed announced its decision.

The average on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages is also down substantially, dropping to 3.29 percent, down from 3.37 percent last week. That rate is also down about one-third of a percent over the past three weeks, compared to an average of 3.59 percent the week of Sept. 12.

Initial rates on adjustable-rate mortgages have also been declining, but more modestly. The initial rate on Treasury indexed 5-year ARMs dropped to 3.03 percent this week, down from 3.05 percent last week and 3.22 percent prior to the Fed announcement.

Shutdown, consumer confidence called factors

With the onset of the federal government shutdown and declining consumer confidence, fixed mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

He noted that consumer sentiment, as measured by the monthly University of Michigan survey, fell in September for the second month in a row, reaching its lowest reading since last spring.

He also noted that a recent Bloomberg survey of economists found they predicted that a one-week partial shutdown of the federal government would reduce fourth-quarter GDP by 0.1 percentage points. That same survey found an average prediction of a 0.5 percent reduction in GDP if the shutdown lasts a full month.

A slowing recovery would likely reduce upward pressure on mortgage rates, though most experts are doubtful they would drop to anything approaching their previous levels. On the other hand, a resolution to the standoff in Washington over the debt limit that led to the shutdown might very likely be followed by at least a modest jump in rates.


Rates Drop Following Shutdown Deal

Submitted on October 18, 2013

Mortgage rates are down sharply following the agreement to end the federal government shutdown, easing fears that a default could damage the nation's credit rating.

 

Various reports show fixed mortgage rates down by one to two tenths of a percentage point from their average levels of late Wednesday, just before the agreement was reached that night.

As of Friday afternoon, the average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was at 4.76 percent on the broad-based MortgageLoan.com National Rates chart, which takes into account loans across a broad range of credit scores and equity/down payment levels. That's down 0.15 percent from Wednesday's mark of 4.91 percent.

The national average on 15-year fixed rate mortgages is down 0.19 percentage points over the same period, according to the MortgageLoan.com chart, dropping to 3.84 percent Friday afternoon, down from 4.03 percent on Wednesday.

Better rates were available for borrowers with excellent credit, high equity levels or who are willing to pay points. Best-execution rates as reported Friday by Mortgage News Daily's rate survey were 4.29 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 3.41 percent for 15-year loans.

Default fears drove rate increases

Rates began to inch up during the second week of the shutdown, which began Oct. 1, driven by fears that a government default could drive up lending costs overall.

Mortgage Rates Drop to 4-Month Low

Submitted on October 24, 2013

Fixed mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in four months this week, amid growing assumptions that the Federal Reserve will not scale back its bond purchase program any time before the end of the year.

 

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.13 percent in the weekly Freddie Mac rate survey, a sharp decline from last week's average of 4.28 percent. Meanwhile, the average on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.24 percent, down from 3.33 percent last week.

Both figures are the lowest those rates have been since late June.

The average initial rate on 5-year Treasury indexed adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) also fell, to 3.00 percent, down from 3.07 percent last week. That's also the lowest that rate has been since the first week of summer.

Rates fall as shutdown ends

The drag on the economy produced by the temporary government shutdown, along with a weak unemployment report, led markets to conclude the Fed will not reduce its efforts to stimulate the economy in the near term, according to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist.

The resolution of the standoff over raising the federal debt limit, at least temporarily, also calmed fears that the government might default on its debt payments, an event that would likely send interest rates of all types sharply upward.

The recent nomination of Janet Yellen, vice chair of the Fed, to replace Ben Bernancke as Fed chair in January, has also diminished expectations the Fed will significantly reduce its bond purchases any time soon. Yellen is seen as favoring continued economic stimulus, which the bond purchases provide by supporting low interest rates, until the employment picture improves significantly.


Will Rates Crack 4 Percent Again?

Submitted on October 31, 2013

Mortgage rates appear to have cooled off slightly today in the wake of Federal Reserve Chair Ben Benanke's reassurances that the Fed will not back off its efforts to boost the economy anytime soon.

 

Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds, which are commonly linked to long-term mortgage rates, showed their biggest one-week drop in over a year, following Bernanke's remarks late yesterday. Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages responded by dropping more than a tenth of a percent shortly after the start of business today, according to figures from Zillow, and have held steady at 4.37 percent since.

In a speech late Wednesday, Bernanke said the economy will continue to require ''a highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future.'' Those remarks appear designed to dampen recent fears that the Fed will soon begin to scale back those efforts, which triggered the sharp increases in mortgage rates over the past two months.

Encouraged by Bernanke's remarks, the stock market rose to new heights today, with both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 averages reaching new highs, on top of previous increases earlier in the week.

Which way now?

It's not clear if today's drop in mortgage rates will be anything more than a temporary respite from the sharp run-up in rates that has been underway since May. If investors are confident the Fed will continue to purchase Treasury bonds at its current pace for the foreseeable future, it's possible that mortgage rates will reverse some of their recent gains. However, continued improvement in the economy would tend to put further upward pressure on rates.

Rates showed a sharp spike this week prior to Bernanke's remarks, as many expected he would signal a reduction in the Treasury bond purchases that have been the basis of the Fed's efforts to stimulate the economy by promoting low interest rates.

According to this morning's weekly rate report from Freddie Mac, based on data collected prior to Bernanke's comments yesterday, average rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped more than two-tenths of a percent this past week, rising to 4.51 percent, up from 4.29 percent in last week's report.

The average on 15-year mortgages rose to 3.53 percent this week, up from 3.39 percent the week before. All rates are for mortgages with an 80-percent loan-to-value ratio, for the week ending on Wednesday.


Rates Ease a Bit on Housing Reports

Mortgage rates eased somewhat this past week, as signs the housing recovery may be slowing down quieted speculation that the Federal Reserve would start to cut back its purchases of Treasury bonds next month.

 

Average interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages declined to 4.51 percent in the weekly Freddie Mac rate survey, down from 4.58 percent last week, while the average on 15-year fixed-rate loans dropped to 3.54 percent, down from 3.60 percent previously.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were headed the other way, with average initial rates on 5-year Treasury indexed ARMs rising to 3.24 percent, up from 3.21 percent previously.

All rates are based on mortgages with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio; fixed-rate mortgages include an average of 0.7 points in fees and discounts, while the ARM includes 0.5 points.

All eyes on the Fed

Speculation has been growing that in September the Federal Reserve will begin scaling back its program of Treasury bond purchases, which has played a major role in keeping interest rates low. However, a sharp drop in new home sales last month, coupled with early indications that existing home sales may be softening as well, dampened those expectations somewhat.

"The Fed is monitoring the housing market closely after the run up in mortgage rates over the past few months," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist. "The 13.4 percent drop in new home sales in July (as reported by the Census Bureau) led financial markets to speculate whether the Fed might delay reducing its bond purchases and allowed long-term bond yields and fixed mortgage rates to decline over the week."

In addition to the decline in new home sales, the National Association of Realtors reported this week pending home sales (signed contracts for home purchases) were down 1.6 percent in July, apparently in response to rising mortgage rates.