Above photo - David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mortgage rates dropped to lows not seen in nearly two year. This morning Freddie Mac announced the benchmark 30-year mortgage fell to 3.820%. The rate is from data collected as part of their weekly rate survey of lenders who sell mortgages to them.
There are $2 Trillion dollars’ worth of mortgages that are eligible for refinancing.
According to Mortgage Bankers Association the lower rates reflect to spike in mortgage activity for those refinancing. Unfortunately, the activity for those purchasing a property has held flat or declined. This could be due to many borrowers feeling priced out of participating in homeownership?
“Coming out of the Memorial Day holiday, and likely impacted by the financial market volatility caused by the trade tensions, purchase application volume declined for the week. Potential homebuyers may be more cautious given the heightened economic uncertainty.” Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.
This morning the benchmark 30-year mortgagejumped eleven basis points and came in at 4.15%. Likewise, mortgage applications also increased almost five percent from week over week reporting. As the economy continues to pick up steam consumers can expect to see rates increase accordingly as they are cyclical in nature and move based on a variety of economic factors.
Also, it is noted consumer confidence has improved. Combined with the heralded tax cut and the recent announcement of companies providing bonuses to employees, the result is more household cash to work with. Some analyst caution the giddiness being reported about the bonuses and cuts. Just this morning Home Depot joined the list of companies who will provide bonuses to eligible staff to the tune of up to $1,000. For most, the additional cash might seem like a great windfall but in the larger picture higher interest rates or higher cost of goods will reduce perceived savings.
Short term gain, long-term loss
Let, take a look. As an example, assuming a mortgage of $200,000, prior to the tax cuts rates where around 3.90%. Compared with today’s mortgage survey release of 4.15%, the difference is 25 basis points here is the bottom-line.
3.90% principal and interest = $943
4.15% principal and interest = $972
The difference is a motley $29 per month which seems nominal. However annually it is $348 and factoring seven years (which is the average time consumers keep their mortgage) the result is $2,436. So, while the bonuses are great in today’s dollars, it is more than wiped out based on higher cost.
Short term gain, long-term loss
There is a long-standing political debate on what effect the tax cut has for the “average” family that typically lives paycheck? No doubt in the capital society which we live in it is great to receive extra money such as bonuses or tax cuts, however the issue for many is sustainability or how long it will last?
The jump is interest rates is one sign attributed to the increase in mortgage applications. On one hand consumers may have extra money but on the other hand those who are in the market for a refinance or new mortgage realize any delay in making an application or locking in a rate may subject themselves to higher movement or additional cost to their budget.
The mortgage rates which are reflected are from the Freddie Mac weekly rate survey. The mortgage application data is from the Mortgage Bankers Association from the “Mortgage Application Weekly Survey.”
As predicted, mortgage rates climbed eight basis points in week over week reported and now sit at 3.960%. The move was expected and based on the shortened trading factoring the July 4th holiday. Therefore, the two-point gain from last week was wiped out.
Overall rates are very attractive for home buyers as well as those seeking to refinance their existing mortgage. The key for most consumers to take advantage of rates is positioning or being able to make a formal application and having the ability close within a reasonable period of time. Refinancing can be trickier as many lenders lock in the rate for 60 days at time of preliminary approval. Consumers completing a purchase transaction are guided by the close of escrow, so locking before that time might be unavailable.
Supply and Demand
While the 10-year treasury bond is the key instrument in gauging mortgage movement, there are other factors to consider such as the overall economy and even world events. Supply is demand triggers movement up or down.
Mortgage applications have been stable, however should there be a surge the result may be higher rates. Just this month, lenders are preparing for more applications as underwriting guidelines have changed which may motivate more borrowers to consider a transaction.
The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) has evolved since its inception in April 1971 into the foremost reliable, representative source of regional and national mortgage rate trends and is relied upon by the mortgage industry and the public in gauging market conditions and evaluating mortgage loan options.