Dan Green
Dan Green
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Mortgage Rates

Mortgage Rates Are Now Cheapest In California; 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rate Drops To 4.34% Nationwide

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Freddie Mac: 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates drop to 4.34%; 15-year fixed rate mortgage rates drop to 3.38%, on average

Mortgage rates dropping big last week, according to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS).

Conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates fell 0.07 percentage points last week to reach 4.34%, on average, nationwide. The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell 0.09 percentage points to 3.38%.

With mortgage rates in the mid-4s, and with more than $800 billion worth of outstanding mortgages carrying a rate above five percent, there are literally millions of U.S. homeowners potentially eligible for a refinance.

Click for today's live mortgage rates.

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rate : 4.34%

Each week, government-backed Freddie Mac conducts a mortgage rate survey of 125 banks nationwide. The survey asks banks reply with their "going" mortgage rate for a prime mortgage borrower, including the number of accompanying discount points required to lock that rate.

A prime borrower, as defined by Freddie Mac, is one with ample home equity or downpayment, high credit scores, and documented income which meets or exceeds mortgage underwriting standards.

HARP mortgages are not considered "prime", nor are VA loans or FHA loans which are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Federal Housing Administration, respectively.

Freddie Mac's weekly survey shows the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate at 4.34%. In order to get Freddie Mac's 4.34% mortgage rate, borrowers should expect to pay 0.7 discount points, on average.

Paying 0.7 discount points will add $700 in closing costs for every $100,000 borrowed. Loans in high-cost areas, therefore, a classification which includes Loudoun County, Virginia; Potomac, Maryland; and Orange County, California, which can be made at the maximum $625,500 loan size, would carry a one-time cost of $4,379.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage rate also made large gains last week, giving back 8 basis points. The 15-year loan can be locked at 3.38% for borrowers willing to pay 0.6 discount points at closing. The gap in mortgage rates between the 15-year and 30-year fixed rate loans is near its largest in recorded history.

Click for an instant mortgage rate quote.

Where Are Mortgage Rates Lowest? California.

Mortgage rates made big gains last week, but they fell unevenly from region-to-region. Depending on the state in which your home is located, you'll likely see different mortgage rates from your lender.

The cheapest "rate-and-fee" combinations are being offered to mortgage applicants in the West Region, which includes California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona.

Mortgage rates in the West Region average 4.31% with an accompanying 0.7 discount points.

By contrast, the most "expensive" mortgages are going to applicants the Southwest Region, an area which includes New Mexico and Oklahoma; and the Southeast Region which includes Florida and Georgia.

By region, Freddie Mac reports :

  • Northeast Region : 4.33% with 0.6 discount points
  • West Region : 4.31% with 0.7 discount points
  • Southeast Region : 4.37% with 0.6 discount points
  • North Central Region : 4.34% with 0.6 discount points
  • Southwest Region : 4.38% with 0.7 discount points

Note that discount points are tax-deductible for some home buyers and refinancing households; and that discount points are optional. Mortgage applicants can choose to pay zero discount points in exchange for a slightly higher mortgage rate.

A Good Day To Lock Your Mortgage Rate

Freddie Mac shows the average 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage rate at 4.34% this week. If you missed your chance to refinance earlier this year, or bought a home and have a high interest rate on your loan, today provides a chance to undo that mistake.

The typical refinancing household saves more than 25%, according to Freddie Mac. See how much you can save, too. Rates are available at no cost, with no obligation, and with no social security number required to get started.

Click to get today's mortgage rates.

About the Author

Dan Green is a mortgage market expert, providing over 10 years of direct-to-consumer advice. NMLS #1019791. You can also connect with Dan on Twitter and on Google+.

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