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Mortgage Rates by Loan Product
Mortgage Rate ReportSaturday, June 23, 2018
Mortgage rates dipped slightly this week after rising in response to the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates at its June meeting last week. In its statement, the Fed pointed to a robust labor market, improving household spending, sustained business investment and accelerating inflation to support a 0.250% increase in the target Fed Funds rate to 1.750% to 2.000%. The Fed's removal of measured language from its statement as well as highly positive comments on the economy by Fed Chair Jerome Powell also improved the probability of two more increases rate moves this year and in 2019 as well.
Although June's quarter point rate surprised few, there were mixed opinions prior to the meeting over the number of increases to expect for the remainder of 2018, with moderate wage growth, lower than targeted inflation and potential international trade wars providing rationale for the Fed to pause or slow future rate hikes. Following meeting, however, there is greater certainty regarding the Fed's apporach for the second half of 2018.
While the increase in interest rates and the Fed's more hawkish outlook drove mortgage rates higher across the board last week, in good news for borrowers, we saw rates pullback for several programs this week. It appears that by effectively telegraphing its intentions, the Fed brought increased stability to the mortgage market, which positively impacted rates for certain programs.
The mortgage rate for a 30 year fixed rate loan slid 0.125% higher to 4.375% while the rate for a 15 year fixed rate mortgage remained at 3.875%. The interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) was also steady at 3.875%. FHA mortgage rates stayed put at 3.875%, matching VA mortgage rates which held at 3.875%, with both programs remaining attractive to borrowers focused on low or no down payment programs, especially first time home buyers. Jumbo mortgage rates were stable 4.500% while non-owner occupied mortgage rates moved 0.125% lower to 4.625%.
Although the Fed's move to raise rates was widely expected, the mortgage market reaction to the news was better than expected. Rates increased less than expected initially and dropped slightly this week. We have seen rates gradually move higher this year in response to the Fed's forecast and expectations for future rate hikes were reinforced this week. While interest rates are impossible to predict, prospective borrowers looking to buy a home or refinance their mortgage may be able to lock in a lower rate by acting sooner rather than later. As lenders react differently to shifting market conditions, we have also seen the variation in mortgage rate pricing grow recently, which means borrowers benefit more by shopping multiple lenders.
Because rates fluctuate constantly, we continue to actively monitor the market for new developments. Borrowers should check the FREEandCLEAR mortgage rate tables regularly to review personalized, updated mortgage rates for lenders in their area. Our rate tables are free to use and require no personal information.
Why Select an FHA Mortgage
Low Down Payment.
The main benefit of the FHA mortgage program is that it enables borrowers to buy a home with a down payment as low as 3.5% of the property purchase price. This compares to 10% - 20% down payment required to buy a home with most conventional mortgage programs. Borrowers can also combine the FHA program with a down payment assistance program or closing cost grant to further reduce the personal financial contribution they are required to make to buy a home. The FHA program charges borrowers additional up-front and ongoing fees but makes home ownership more attainable, especially for low-to-moderate income borrowers. The low down payment requirement also makes the FHA program an attractive financing option for first-time buyers.
Low Interest Rate.
FHA mortgage rates are typically .125% - .500% lower than the current interest rate on a conventional loan or low down payment mortgage program. This is because FHA loans are backed by the federal government plus borrowers are required to pay an ongoing FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) which is similar to private mortgage insurance and protects the lender against default or foreclosure. The FHA MIP is an extra ongoing cost for borrowers but the insurance enables lenders to offer lower rates on FHA loans. Borrowers should consider both the interest rate and FHA MIP when evaluating the total cost of the loan.
Flexible Borrower Qualification Requirements.
The borrower qualification requirements for the FHA mortgage program are more flexible than for other low or no down payment mortgage programs. For example, the program typically requires that borrowers have a minimum credit score of only 580 and there are cases where a borrower can obtain an FHA mortgage with a lower score. Additionally, lenders have more discretion when applying debt-to-income ratios to determine what size mortgage borrowers can afford. The higher the debt-to-income ratio, the larger the mortgage the borrower can afford.
Available to All Borrowers.
The FHA mortgage program is available to all borrowers that qualify. There are no borrower income limits although there are limits on loan amounts available through the program. Additionally, the program applies to all eligible properties, up to four units in size, as long as the borrower occupies the property.
Why Borrowers Compare FHA Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
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More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Use our FHA Mortgage Qualification Calculator to determine what size FHA loan you can afford as well as the required up-front and ongoing FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium
Review our comprehensive overview of the FHA Mortgage Program including borrower eligibility requirements
We provide a thorough summary of multiple mortgage programs that enable borrowers to buy a home with little or no down payment
Ask the FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert about the FHA mortgage program or any mortgage topic and receive an insightful response within 24 hours