Mortgage Rates Today
As of August 16th, the Freddie Mac national average for 30-year mortgage rates was 4.53%. The average rate for 15-year mortgages was 4.01%, while 5/1 ARM mortgage rates averaged at 3.87%. This marks the second straight week of declines in August for 30-year, 15-year and 5/1 ARM mortgage loans. After rising almost 8 basis points earlier this month, mortgage rates seem to be back where they were in July.
U.S. Mortgage Rates Over Time
Mortgage Rates This Week
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Rates have fallen week-over-week, as a slight lull in the late homebuying season has kicked in. As the season draws to a close, prospective homebuyers should keep an eye on the Federal Reserve, which has forecasted possible rate increases in September and December. In the long run, it's likely that interest rates for mortgages and other types of credit will continue to rise in response to Federal Reserve policy, making it more costly to purchase a home over time.
There are a few reasons that interest rates for mortgages and other loans will probably keep climbing. Continued economic growth has prompted the Federal Reserve to implement steady increases in the prime rate, which is the rate that banks pay to borrow funds. As it becomes more costly for mortgage lenders to obtain money, they pass on their increased expenses to borrowers in the form of higher interest rates on mortgages and other kinds of credit.
Should You Obtain a Mortgage Now?
If you're thinking about buying a home in 2018, the rising interest rate trend means that you should consider applying for mortgages soon. 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 $400,000 balance for a 30-year loan at August's average rate of 4.59% would cost $2,048 before taxes and insurance. At February's average rate of 4.38%, that balance would have cost $1,998 monthly—a difference of $50 per month and over $17,000 in lifetime interest.
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.
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