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Review current refinance mortgage rates for August 21, 2017 and get personalized mortgage quotes from top lenders
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Mortgage Rate ReportMonday, August 21, 2017
Mortgage rates continued their winning streak, remaining steady for the fourth consecutive week following the Federal Reserve's decision to leave interest rates unchanged at its July meeting. The Fed pointed to low inflation as a counterbalance to an improved labor market as well as expanding household spending and business investment in its decision to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1.000% to 1.250%. Industry analysts had expected the Fed to stay put on interest rates at the July meeting so the decision has had relatively little impact on mortgage rates since the announcement. A strong jobs report to open August failed to move rates higher as expected and instead key mortgage rates remained flat on the week and continue to hover near their low point for 2017.
The interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage held steady at 3.625% and jumbo mortgage rates also remained flat at 3.750%, while other mortgage programs followed suit. The interest rate for a 15 year mortgage stayed put at 2.875% and the interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) held at 2.750%, as lenders attempt to pull borrowers into shorter-term mortgage programs. VA mortgage rates remained at 3.250%, matching FHA mortgage rates which were also steady at 3.250%, with both programs remaining enticing for home buyers seeking low or no down payment loan options. Non-owner occupied mortgage rates were the sole mover on the week, dipping 0.125% to 3.750%.
After a turbulent first quarter of 2017, mortgage rates were relatively steady and attractive for much of the the second quarter. As we move deeper into the third quarter, the Federal Reserve's decision to hold interest rates at their current level further stabilized the mortgage market. Another week of flat rates means we are approaching multiple months of relatively stable and low mortgage rates that have brought increased certainty to the marketplace for both borrowers and lenders.
Despite the relatively steady current mortgage market, mortgage rates remain highly challenging to predict. The Fed’s decision to leave rates unchanged at its July meeting only bolsters the likelihood that the Fed will raise rates at a future meeting in 2017. In fact, the Fed reaffirmed its outlook for another rate increase in 2017 and recent strong labor and economic reports, including a decline in the unemployment rate and robust jobs growth, reinforce the potential for a future rate hike. Additionally, a Fed official recently reiterated the Federal Reserve's intention to raise interest rates before year end despite continued low inflation. Prospective borrowers looking to buy a home or refinance their mortgage may be able to lock in a lower interest rate by acting sooner rather than later, before mortgage rates increase, potentially at an accelerated pace.
Because interest rates change daily, we continue to actively monitor the mortgage market for changes. Borrowers should check the FREEandCLEAR mortgage rate tables regularly to review customized, updated mortgage rates for lenders in their area. Our rate tables are free to use and require no personal information.
Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage
Lower Your Interest Rate.
As a rule of thumb, if you are refinancing, your new interest rate should be at least .75% lower than your existing interest rate to justify the refinance closing costs (if any). Additionally, your lower monthly mortgage payment should enable you to recover your mortgage closing costs, or breakeven, within two and a half years.
Reduce Your Mortgage Term.
Shortening your mortgage term when you refinance allows you to lower your mortgage rate. For example, the interest rate on a 15 year mortgage is typically .5% - 1.0% less than the interest rate on a 30 year mortgage. A mortgage with a shorter term and lower interest rate results in significantly less total interest expense over the course of the mortgage. For example, a $250,000 15 year mortgage with a 2.750% interest rate saves a borrower approximately $100,000 in total interest expense as compared to a 30 year mortgage with a 3.500% interest rate.
Change Your Mortgage Program.
Refinancing your mortgage also enables you to change your mortgage program. For example, borrowers with an adjustable rate mortgage or interest only mortgage may refinance into a fixed rate mortgage if they are concerned interest rates will increase in the future. Alternatively, borrowers could decide to refinance a fixed rate mortgage into an adjustable rate mortgage to lower their current interest rate or if they believe interest rates will decline in the future.
Take Cash Out of Your Home.
Borrowers can use a cash-out refinance to access the equity in their homes. With a cash-out refinance your new mortgage amount is greater than your current mortgage balance and you keep the difference, less any closing costs, when the refinance closes. Borrowers can use the proceeds from a cash-out refinance for a multitude of purposes including to pay for a remodeling project or college tuition.
Why Borrowers Compare Mortgage Rates on FREEandCLEAR
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More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Our Mortgage Refinance, Cash-Out, Debt Consolidation or Bi-Weekly refinance calculators enable you to evaluate different refinance scenarios and determine how much money you can save by refinancing
Our comprehensive mortgage refinance guide takes you through the refinance process from start to finish
Refinancing your mortgage is only one option for taking cash out of your home. We review all your cash-out alternatives and provide pros and cons so that you can select the option that is right for you
Make sure all your questions are answered before you start the refinance process. Submit your refinance queries to the FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert and receive a thorough answer within 24 hours