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Best Mortgage Rates in New Jersey

We found that in New Jersey, online lenders offered the lowest mortgage rates both for purchases and refinancing. While quotes from the state's largest lenders including Wells Fargo and Chase rarely went below 4%, most lenders who advertise online promised 30-year fixed rates a dozen or more basis points below the 4% mark.

Best New Jersey Mortgage Rates for Purchasing

To get a fair sense of purchase mortgage rates, we relied on data from the New Jersey Realtors Association, which reported a median price of $290,000 on all homes sold in April 2017. We used a borrower profile that included a 20% down payment of $58,000 and a credit score of at least 740. We further assumed that no points would be purchased on the mortgage to buy down the rate.

Lowest Mortgage Rates Online for New Jersey

The lowest purchase mortgage rates in the state were found at direct lenders. Garden State Home Loans quoted the lowest rates in all three mortgage categories, beating competitors by 12 basis points on rates for 15- and 30-year mortgages. We saw AimLoan.com coming in close behind in 5/1 ARMs and 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Overall, direct lender rates were lower than comparable quotes from the largest mortgage lending companies, like banks.

30-year fixed15-year fixed5/1 ARM
Garden State Home Loans3.63%2.88%3.59%
First Internet Bank3.75%3.00%3.76%
AimLoan.com3.78%2.92%3.60%
ConsumerDIrect3.88%3.13%3.80%
HLT Mortgage4.13%3.38%-

Mortgage Rates at New Jersey's Largest Lenders

Using the same assumptions to obtain rate quotes at New Jersey's most active mortgage lenders revealed that a purchase mortgage will cost more at a traditional bank than a direct lender by 12 or more percentage points. The lowest rates in every category belonged to Bank of America, whose biggest lead was in 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Wells Fargo and Chase, the other two banking giants that lend to Jersey homeowners, followed behind Bank of America and compared fairly closely to one another. TD Bank's 30-year fixed rate skewed high among the top 5, requiring the purchase of mortgage points to get to competitive levels.

30-year fixed15-year fixed5/1 ARM
Wells Fargo4.05%3.47%3.89%
Chase Bank4.07%3.46%4.05%
Bank of America3.99%3.27%3.70%
Quicken4.38%-4.08%
TD Bank4.44%3.49%3.75%

Best Refinancing Rates in New Jersey

Our refinancing rates were based on a home value of $290,000 with the assumption that the original mortgage had been paid down to $210,000 —a figure we reached by calculating five years of payments and an initial down payment of 20%. Because of how popular 5/1 ARM mortgages are among homeowners who plan on selling rather than paying off their full mortgage, we set five years as a useful benchmark to gauge the value of refinancing. Most borrowers in a 5/1 ARM will consider refinancing as their 5-year fixed rate expires, introducing the risk of rising payments.

Best Online Mortgage Refinance Rates for New Jersey

Online, the rates offered for refinancing a mortgage in New Jersey rode well below the refinance rates obtained from traditional bank lenders. As with purchase mortgages, the difference generally spanned 12 percentage points, although Sebonic nearly doubled that margin with the best 30-year fixed refinancing rate among all lenders we studied. The discrepancy between banks and direct lenders was even larger for 15-year fixed rates: borrowers might find rates online that are 0.50 to a full percentage point lower than they would by walking into a branch.

30-year fixed15-year fixed5/1 ARM
Garden State Home Loans3.88%3.05%3.62%
Sebonic3.77%3.12%3.63%
eRates Mortgage3.88%3.13%3.67%
First Internet Bank3.88%3.00%3.76%
ConsumerDirect3.88%3.13%3.76%

Mortgage Refinance Rates Among Top New Jersey Lenders

New Jersey's large-scale mortgage lenders were competitive with online lenders in at least one category, with 5/1 ARM interest rates at Bank of America staying close to the lower end of quotes we collected on that mortgage type. 5/1 ARM mortgages were also the greatest point of differentiation among big lenders themselves, with a spread of 0.33 percentage points between the lowest and highest offers. Overall, we found Bank of America offering the lowest refinance rates, just as we did with purchase mortgages.

30-year fixed15-year fixed5/1 ARM
Chase Bank4.07%3.47%3.97%
Wells Fargo4.15%3.47%3.88%
Bank of America4.02%3.39%3.73%
Quicken4.44%-4.06%
TD Bank4.06%3.48%3.74%

New Jersey Mortgage Rates by City

Mortgage rates in New Jersey showed little differences based on city or county. The more noticeable changes in rate depended upon the term length of the mortgage as well as the lender we selected. To get a quick picture of rate conditions in the most densely populated areas of New Jersey, we collected quotes multiple times based on zip codes for Newark, Jersey City, Paterson and Elizabeth.

CityLender30-Year Fixed15-Year Fixed5/1 ARM
NewarkBank of America3.99%3.27%3.70%
Wells Fargo4.05%3.47%3.89%
Chase Bank4.07%3.46%4.05%
TD Bank4.44%3.49%3.75%
Online Lenders3.65%2.88%3.37%
Jersey CityBank of America3.99%3.27%3.70%
Wells Fargo4.04%3.47%3.88%
Chase Bank4.07%3.46%4.05%
TD Bank4.07%3.49%3.75%
Online Lenders3.65%2.88%3.37%
PatersonBank of America3.99%3.27%3.70%
Wells Fargo4.04%3.47%3.88%
Chase Bank4.07%3.46%4.05%
TD Bank4.07%3.49%3.75%
Online Lenders3.65%2.88%3.37%
ElizabethBank of America3.99%3.27%3.70%
Wells Fargo4.04%3.47%3.89%
Chase Bank4.07%3.46%4.05%
TD Bank4.07%3.49%3.75%
Online Lenders3.65%2.88%3.37%

In every city and mortgage type, the best online rate from direct lenders came out far lower than bank rates in general. Whether you opt for a 30-year, 15-year or 5/1 ARM mortgage, we found that you could expect the best rates by looking online. The only significant geographic pattern we noticed was a slight increase in the rates that a few banks set for Newark, the state's largest city by population.

Newark, NJ

  • Average 30-Year Rate at Top 5 Lenders: 4.04%
  • Median Single-Family Sales Price, Jan-Apr 2017: $369,950

The largest city in New Jersey has the highest mortgage rates, according to at least one of the companies we surveyed. In Newark, TD Bank was most noticeable for raising the 30-year fixed rate estimate 40 basis points above its rates in the rest of the state. We found this notable as one of the only adjustments made by any lender for the cities we looked at. The median sales price to date in 2017 for Newark stood at almost $370,000, or $80,000 more than the overall New Jersey median price.

Jersey City, NJ

  • Average 30-Year Rate at Top 5 Lenders: 3.96%
  • Median Single-Family Sales Price, Jan-Apr 2017: $295,000

Despite being just across the river from one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, Jersey City experienced no upward pressure in mortgage rates from its proximity to New York City. Mortgage rates we collected based on Jersey City zip codes were no higher than the other areas we examined, and were in fact lower than rates we obtained for Newark. Single-family house prices also mirrored the state median number, with just a $5,000 difference. However, the median sales price for townhouses and condos in the Jersey City area reached $439,000 —a surprisingly high amount for properties actually smaller in square footage than the typical single-family construction.

Paterson, NJ

  • Average 30-Year Rate at Top 5 Lenders: 3.96%
  • Median Single-Family Sales Price, Jan-Apr 2017: $289,900

Paterson is the most northerly of the four major cities we considered, and it was the only one where the median home price was lower than the state median —although the difference turned out to be just $100. Rates reflected no difference for the location compared to other parts of New Jersey, with the exception of Newark as mentioned above. Assuming a 20% down payment, a quick calculation using Paterson's average 30-year fixed rate and the median sales price so far in 2017 leaves us with monthly principal and interest costs of about $1,100.

Elizabeth, NJ

  • Average 30-Year Rate at Top 5 Lenders: 3.96%
  • Median Single-Family Sales Price, Jan-Apr 2017: $315,000

Requesting mortgage rate quotes based on zip codes for Elizabeth yielded the same results we found for Paterson and Jersey City, with all three cities returning lower rates than Newark. Among the biggest lenders, Bank of America offered the best rates for both fixed rate and variable rate mortgages. Although the median price of a single-family home in Elizabeth was second only to Newark, it rested closer to prices for the state as a whole.

Our survey of mortgage rates in New Jersey fits in with what we've observed in other states: rates will follow national trends more closely than local conditions, while home prices give a clearer indicator of geographic differences in the housing market. The Federal Reserve regularly publishes mortgage rate averages based on data from lenders who finance home purchases throughout the country.

line graph showing average U.S. rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages between 2012 and 2017

Over the past five years, the average US mortgage rate has been 3.5% to 4.5%. For most first-time home buyers, it makes little sense to delay a purchase in order to "catch" a period of low borrowing rates. Since it's possible to refinance your mortgage after the initial purchase, tracking mortgage rates is a more useful exercise for current homeowners than it is for people just starting out. For those interested in adjustable rate mortgages (ARM), one of the simplest ways to judge the current climate is to track the most popular index rates. These are rates which reflect how much banks must pay to borrow funds for their own business. Indexes are commonly used as official benchmarks for a consumer's own mortgage rate.

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