Mortgage Rates Largely Unchanged as Fed Stands Pat

Mortgage rates were largely unmoved heading into this week’s Federal Reserve meeting, according to data released Thursday by Freddie Mac.

Because expectations were that the Fed would not bump up the federal funds rate at this time, nothing caused home loan rates to be pushed or pulled significantly in either direction.

The 30-year fixed-rate average slipped to 3.76 percent with an average 0.6 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.79 percent a week ago and 3.98 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate has stayed below 4 percent for more than three months.

The 15-year fixed-rate average remained at 2.98 percent with an average 0.6 point, the same as it was a week ago. It was 3.13 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed rate has hovered below 3 percent for three of the past four weeks.

Hybrid adjustable rate mortgages were mixed. The five-year ARM average was unchanged at 2.89 percent with an average 0.4 point. It was 2.94 percent a year ago.

The one-year ARM average dropped to 2.54 percent with an average 0.2 point. It was 2.43 percent a year ago.

“Treasury yields oscillated without a clear direction heading into the October FOMC meeting, as investors were confident there would be no rate increase,” Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist, said in a statement.

“While the FOMC left rates unchanged at this meeting, they kept a December rate hike as an option causing Treasuries to sell off in the latter part of the day, after our survey closed.”

Freddie Mac aggregates current rates weekly from 125 lenders from across the country to come up with a national average mortgage rate.

“Recent housing reports have done little to add or detract from the possibility of a December rate increase,” Becketti said. “Existing home sales were strong, contrasting with disappointing new home sales.”

Meanwhile, mortgage applications slipped this week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The market composite index — a measure of total loan application volume – fell 3.5 percent from the previous week. The refinance index dropped 4 percent, while the purchase index decreased 3 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 59.5 percent of all applications.

Source:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2015/10/29/mortgage-rates-largely-unchanged-as-fed-stands-pat/

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