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"... The impact of the Fed’s decision will be muted when it comes to consumer rates, unless there are more cuts ahead..."
LendingTree Chief Economist
Where are Mortgage Rates Going in 2019?
At its July 2019 meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) cut interest rates by 0.25%, raising uncertainties in its economic outlook for the remainder of the year. Movement in the Fed's dot plot, which illustrates expectations for rate cuts by year end, signaled active debate among FOMC committee members about whether further rate cuts might be warranted.
The Fed's most recent rate cut sends mixed signals on the direction of the economy in the later half of 2019. Given the uncertain rate environment, it may be a good time to explore whether it's worth locking in your mortgage rate now before further market volatility takes hold.
30-Year Mortgage Rate vs. Federal Funds Rate
This chart illustrates the history of the effective federal funds rate and the national average rate for a 30-year mortgage. The fed funds rate is the rate that banks pay to borrow money for their own operations. Any changes the Fed makes to this rate spill over into the rates the banks set for credit cards, bank deposits and home loans.
As the chart shows, the relationship between fed funds and mortgage rates isn't perfect. Still, interest rates in the long term will generally follow the movement of the fed funds rate. Economic activity also plays a big role in rate behavior. The Fed has indicated that it will continue observing economic trends and data before deciding on its next move.
Compare FHA Rates
FHA rates tend to closely track conventional mortgage rates, but often carry a slight premium due to the increased credit risk of the underlying borrowers and the FHA insurance that they're mandated to carry. The explicit backing of the Federal Housing Administration helps keep FHA mortgage rates affordable for borrowers with poor credit. Lenders are therefore willing to accept below-average down payments for FHA loans.
FHA Mortgage Rates Over Time
Current FHA Mortgage Rates
Current 30 year FHA rates average 4.70% nationally, and have changed by -0.14% over the past twelve months, according to data obtained from Ellie Mae. This is not an APR and does not factor in any closing costs or fees.
Compare VA Loan Rates
VA rates tend to price close to, if not cheaper than average conventional mortgage rates. Unlike FHA loans, VA loans don't require private mortgage insurance (PMI); the explicit backing of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs keeps VA loans affordable for military home buyers. Lenders are therefore willing to issue VA loans with as little as no money down.
VA Loan Rates Over Time
Current VA Mortgage Rates
Current 30 year VA loan rates average 4.41% nationally, and have changed by -0.23% over the past twelve months, according to data obtained from Ellie Mae. This is not an APR and does not factor in any closing costs or fees.
Compare Mortgage Rates Near Me
If you're looking for the cheapest mortgage quotes in your area, start with a rate quote at one of the top nationally-ranked lenders and compare them to the average rate in your state on the right. This chart shows the average weekly mortgage rate for the 30- year, 15- year and 5/1 ARM for each state in the nation. Click on your state's name to see what most banks are charging for a mortgage in your state.
Should You Obtain a Mortgage Now?
If you're thinking about buying a home in 2019, the current dip in rates makes this a great time to apply for a mortgage. Delaying the date you lock in a rate may increase the long-term cost of your home loan. To understand the savings at stake, consider that a $200,000 balance for a 30-year loan at today's average rate of 3.97% would mean a monthly payment of $762 before taxes and insurance. At March's average rate of 4.45%, that same balance would have cost $806 per month—a significant difference in both short-term and lifetime interest compared to today's rate. This illustrates how important it is to shop across multiple lenders to make sure you're getting the best deal possible.
New homebuyers should focus on lenders that offer special first-time homebuyer programs. These programs offer lenient closing requirements at competitive mortgage rates which are designed to entice prospective homeowners. The terms on these home first-time homebuyer loans are designed for borrowers who have never owned a home but can often be extended to previous homeowners who haven't owned a property within the past 5- years.
Many states also feature their own homebuyer assistance programs which can take the form of closing cost credits, interest-free down payment loans or even special tax write-offs. It's a good idea to check with your local municipality to see what they offer.
Current Mortgage Rates in Your State
District of Columbia
Top Nationally-Ranked Mortgage Lenders
Which mortgage lenders offer the best rates on their loans? The answer varies according to your credit profile and where you live. Mortgage lending is often a tailored product, with certain lenders being more aggressive on some loans than others. You'll also need to factor in closing costs as well as qualitative concerns like customer satisfaction records and time to close. Oftentimes, the thing that you'll need to worry about most isn't always your mortgage rate. Take a look at our summaries of the best mortgage lenders in the nation to find the right company for you.
More Mortgage Tips & Analysis
For more information on how to navigate the mortgage experience, take a look at our informational guides and reviews of popular mortgage lenders.
With mortgage rates changing daily and hundreds of lenders to choose from, it's hard to know whether you're finding reasonable offers. Use our rate tool to find and compare local lenders that meet your needs.