Mortgage rates today are little changed from Friday's opening, probably because there were no important economic announcements this morning. So we'll have to look at today's financial data (below) for interest rate clues.
(As of 10:30 am EDT)
|Conventional 30 yr Fixed||3.750||3.750||Unchanged|
|Conventional 15 yr Fixed||3.125||3.125||+0.13%|
|Conventional 5 yr ARM||3.250||3.722||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.250||4.227||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed FHA||2.750||3.651||Unchanged|
|5 year ARM FHA||3.000||4.092||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed VA||3.500||3.632||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA||3.000||3.284||Unchanged|
|5 year ARM VA||3.375||3.437||+0.04%|
Today's economic data are mixed, mostly pointing to decreasingÂ rates today. But interest rates are still bumping up and down within a narrow range.
Today isÂ looking pretty neutral but leaning toward rate decreases. You can probably get away with floating your rate today.
This week is very light on economic releases that pertain to interest rates. We don't really get anything until Thursday.
Signs point to neutral-to-decreasing rates. That said, if you are risk-averse, and your lender offers you a good rate, locking it in may be smarter than holding out.
Mortgage interest rates depend on a great deal on the expectations of investors. Good economic news tends to be bad for interest rates, because an active economy raises concerns about inflation. Inflation causes fixed-income investments like bonds to lose value, and that causes their yields (another way of saying interest rates) to increase.
For example, suppose that two years ago, you bought a $1,000 bond payingÂ five percent interest ($50) each year. (This is called its â€ścoupon rate.") Thatâ€™s a pretty good rate today, so lots of investors want to buy it from you. You sell your $1,000 bond for $1,200.
The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest that you were getting. However, because he paid more for the bond, his interest rate is not five percent.
TheÂ buyer gets an interest rate, or yield, of only 4.2 percent. And thatâ€™s why, when demand for bonds increases and bond prices go up, interest rates go down.
However, when the economy heats up, the potential for inflation makes bonds less appealing. With fewer people wanting to buy bonds, their prices decrease, and then interest rates go up.
Imagine that you have your $1,000 bond, but you can't sell it for $1,000, because unemployment has dropped and stock prices are soaring. You end up gettingÂ $700. The buyer gets the same $50 a year in interest, but the yield looks like this:
The buyerâ€™s interest rate is now slightly more than seven percent.Click to see today's rates (Aug 19th, 2017)
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2017 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)