The 30-year fixed rate mortgage slipped 0.02 percentage points to 3.35% this week, on average, according to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey. The rate is available to borrowers willing to pay 0.7 discount points at closing plus closing costs.
The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate remained unchanged at 2.65% for borrowers willing to pay the same 0.7 discount points plus costs.
Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey asks more than 125 banks nationwide for their "prime" mortgage rate; the mortgage rate available to homeowner with verifiable income, documented assets, excellent credit, and at least twenty percent equity.
This week's survey is Freddie Mac's last mortgage rate report of the year and it shows the average conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate falling 2 basis points to 3.35%.
3.35 percent is not the lowest mortgage rate of 2012, but it's awfully close. Mortgage rates have been on a downward trajectory since late-2011 and rate shoppers have benefitted.
It was a good year to buy a home, refinance a home, or do anything else that requires a mortgage. Financing via a mortgage was never as affordable in history as its was in 2012.
Conforming mortgage rates dropped this week, which helps "prime" home buyers showing good credit plus a 20 percent downpayment. It helps existing homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, too -- especially the underwater ones choosing to refinance via HARP.
HARP is the Home Affordable Refinance Program. It's the mortgage for underwater homeowners. It's also a conforming mortgage product so when conforming mortgage rates drop, HARP mortgage rates drop, too.
For underwater homeowners whose mortgages are not backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, other refinance options exist (and mortgage rates remain similarly-low) :
For underwater homeowners not covered by the above -- for now -- no refinance options exist. Soon, however, HARP 3 is expected to pass in some form which would bestow mortgage rate relief on homeowners who make on-time payments and who have a good credit history.
Mortgage rates are down big this year but have failed to break below the 3.30% threshold despite several months of tests.
It appears that mortgage rates have bottomed for now and rates are expected to rise in 2013; the Mortgage Bankers Associations expects the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate to average 4.4% next year.
If you're wondering whether it's finally time to refinance, the timing looks right for it today. Get started with a mortgage rate quote and see what today's low rates can do for your household budget.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
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2015 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)