Mortgage Rates Update, Week of March 15, 2013

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Mortgage rates have spent the week in the doldrums, spending three days flat through Thursday at 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed mortgage. A few outliers posted rates lower at 3.625 percent, but the majority where higher. This non-active trend has still managed to retain a higher level than where the rate averages were in January, so there is some overall gain. However, the steamroller lenders hoped for going to 4 percent has not manifested yet. The same flat behavior was seen on the investment side as well as mortgage-backed securities remained unchanged as a result of a lack of movement on the Treasuries side. Chase Bank was the first out of the gate Friday morning, posting its 30-year mortgage rate for new purchases at 3.737 percent APR for Friday, and its 15-year was pegged at 3.036 percent APR. For the adjustable rate mortgage, Chase posted its ARM offering at 2.25 percent.

The market average in comparison had the 30-year fixed rate tied with Chase, the 15-year fixed rate at 3 percent even, and FHA and VA loans floated between 3.375 percent and 3.5 percent, providing the best deal for those borrowers eligible. The average 5-year ARM ranged between 2.625 and 3.25 percent.Many expected this week to climb given the good economic reports that came out, particularly with job creation reported last week. Friday also had another set of economic reports being released, but many market critics expect the market to continue in a lateral move, waiting for something bigger to come along and push the numbers up or down. That said, at 10am consumer sentiment reports came in, marking a downward direction as the consumer perspective of the labor market was negative. That could potentially signal less buying, causing a dampening effect on rate increases. On the flip side, however, industrial production reports came in positive which can also signal a long-term increase in jobs. Core consumer price reports posed no surprise in the morning, with the expected 5 percent rise in gas and minimal increases in food.

Lenders are still marketing and encouraging buyers to lock-in now as anything below the 4 percent interest rate market is considerably good and should be grabbed, especially for long-term homeowners expecting to stay put after a big purchase. Because rates a staged to go either or down, lenders are going heavy on the “what if” marketing to get borrowers to commit now and through the weekend.

About John Krystof

John Krystof writes about personal finance and money matters for He was born and educated in Central Europe, but presently resides in New York City.

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