Mortgage rates jumped again this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moving to 3.88 percent from 3.77 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders.
The rise in rates may be partly due to constrained capacity at the nation’s mortgage lenders, which are coping with a more than four-fold increase in applications as rates have plunged during the coronavirus pandemic. The 10-year Treasury note, a bellwether for mortgage rates, finished Wednesday at 1.18 percent, above its record low of a week ago, its biggest one-day yield increase since 1982. This promises to push mortgage rates higher still.
A year ago, the 30-year rate was 4.44 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.75 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.48 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.36 percent, and is 0.32 percentage points above the 52-week low of 3.56 percent.
The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.33 discount and origination points.
Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.95 percent. This week’s rate is 0.07 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.13 percent from 2.98 percent.
- The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.51 percent from 3.30 percent.
- The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage rose to 3.81 percent from 3.68 percent.
At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $470.52 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $464.25 last week.
At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $696.85 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $689.62 last week.
At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $449.60 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $437.96 last week.
Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted March 18, 2020 and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:
Where mortgage rates are headed
In the week ahead (March 18-24), 50 percent of the experts predict that rates will rise, none of the experts predict a drop in rates and 50 percent predict that rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points).
“Treasury yields have surged and lenders remain inundated with refinancing applications, both keeping mortgage rates above their previous lows,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst.
“None of us have a crystal ball and we are in uncertain times, for sure. As long as there is fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, it’s fair to say the market volatility will continue. Under normal circumstances, we would see the bond market improve as stocks plummet, but we are not in a normal market. Stocks are taking a beating but instead of money flowing into bonds (thus rates improving), investors are selling bonds to cover margin calls,” said Elizabeth Rose, certified mortgage planning specialist, AmCap Home Loans, Plano, Texas.
For homebuyers and refinancers, now may be the time
Rate watchers want to know if this is the time to jump on low mortgage rates or if they should wait a little longer in hopes of getting even deeper discounts on loans.
Bankrate polls experts each week on the direction of mortgage rates.
Keep in mind that although rates in the national survey are higher this week, many lenders have raised their posted rates to discourage inquiries because they are so busy. It’s important to call the lender to find out if they can do better than a rate you see online; oftentimes they can.
There is the possibility that the spread between the Treasury yields and mortgage rates will tighten, which will help drive rates lower. However, there’s no guarantee that rates will drop, which could make waiting a risky bet.