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Mortgage Rates by Loan Product
Mortgage Rate ReportTuesday, October 24, 2017
Mortgage rates continue to resist gravity as well as the Federal Reserve's actions and remained stable for another week. Although the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at its September meeting, its move to start trimming its balance sheet by selling U.S. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities as well as its signaling of a rate hike before the end of the year pushed mortgage rates moderately higher across the board in mid-September. Following this initial uptick, however, mortgage rates have been relatively steady for over a month. Mortgage rate stability continued this week despite the Federal Reserve releasing the minutes from its September meeting last week that all but guaranteed an interest rate hike before the end of the year.
In its September statement, the Fed highlighted labor market strength, improving household spending and growing business investment as offsets to moderate inflation in deciding to keep the federal funds rate unchanged. Although the Fed kept the federal funds rate steady at 1.000% to 1.250%, the decision to start its previously announced balance sheet shrinking program in October moved treasury yields higher and mortgage rates followed suit, with most programs experiencing a 0.125% increase in rates.
The minutes from the September meeting, released last week, show that Fed members continue to debate the impact of low inflation on the economy as well as the projected trajectory of inflation in the future. While some Fed board members pointed to low inflation as a reason to leave rates unchanged, others focused on projected inflation growth and multiple positive economic factors to support a near term interest rate hike. The more aggressive perspective seems to have won the debate and we are poised for the Fed to raise rates in December, as many industry analysts have predicted.
Fortunately for borrowers, mortgage rates have been relatively unresponsive to the Fed's intentions and were steady for another week. The interest rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage remained unchanged at 3.750% while the interest rate for a 15 year mortgage held at 3.000%. The interest rate on a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) stayed put at 3.000%, remaining attractive to borrowers seeking shorter-term mortgage programs willing to take on the risk of an ARM. FHA mortgage rates were flat at 3.250%, matching VA mortgage rates which also remained at 3.250%, with both programs appealing to home buyers focused on low or no down payment loan options. Keeping with the broader market trend, non-owner occupied mortgage rates remained at 4.000%. Bucking the trend in a positive direction, jumbo mortgage rates dipped 0.125% to 3.750%.
Although the Fed did not change rates, its economic outlook or forecast for future rate hikes in its September meeting, its actions and signals increased market uncertainty which usually leads to higher mortgage rates. Four weeks of relatively stable mortgage rates have returned a sense of calm to the mortgage market and interest rates remain near historical lows. With the Fed meeting minutes reinforcing the expectation for a rate hike expected before year end as well as three more anticipated hikes in 2018, 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 rise again, potentially at an accelerated pace.
Because mortgage 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.
What You Should Know About Non-Owner Occupied Mortgages
Higher Interest Rate.
The interest rates for a mortgage on a non-owner occupied or investment property is usually 0.250% - 0.500% higher than the rate on an owner-occupied property. Additionally, closing costs for non-owner occupied mortgages are also usually higher. Please note that properties that you buy to earn rental income are considered non-owner occupied properties whereas second homes and vacation homes are considered owner occupied properties.
Higher Down Payment Required.
Lenders usually require that borrowers contribute a down payment of 20% - 25% for mortgages on non-owner occupied properties, which means your loan-to-value ratio is 75% - 80%. Additionally, investment properties are not eligible for most conventional or government-backed low or no down payment mortgage programs.
For non-owner occupied mortgages, lenders typically require that borrowers maintain a certain amount of money in reserve at the time your mortgage closes. Reserve requirements range from two-to-six months of total monthly housing expense per property depending on lender guidelines and the number of investment properties you own that are financed with a mortgage. The more investment properties you own (that are mortgaged), the greater the reserve requirement.
Mortgage Tax Benefit Does Not Apply.
The interest expense mortgage tax deduction does not apply to investment properties which is different than an owner-occupied mortgage. Borrowers should contact a tax specialist or accountant to review how tax guidelines apply to investment properties and non-owner occupied mortgages.
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More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
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