You probably already missed the ‘all-time low’ 3.29% mortgage rate

March 5, 2020 - 3 min read

This slow-to-release survey is a bit misleading

Major media outlets are talking about the lowest rates ever.

But you may have already missed them.

That’s because the source they reference — Freddie Mac’s weekly survey which reported an all-time low rate of 3.29% this week — is sorely out of date by the time it’s published.

Rates are still ridiculously low. But not as low as Freddie’s survey would have you think.

It’s still a fantastic time to lock a rate despite small increases this week. You might consider locking in now before rates rise.

Capture today's rates before they rise even more.

Can I still get access to the ‘lowest rates ever’?

You may have heard that mortgage rates hit their all-time low today, but that would be incorrect.

Yes, Freddie Mac just reported that 30-year fixed rate mortgages hit their lowest levels ever recorded, coming in at 3.29% when the previous record was 3.31% in November 2012.

However, rates actually hit these levels on Monday and Tuesday this week, as coronavirus panic grabbed markets. And rates have been rising ever since.

The confusion arises because Freddie Mac contacts lenders Monday and Tuesday for its Thursday release. But mortgage rates move with lightning speed. By Thursday, Freddie Mac’s data is disappointingly outdated.

Unfortunately, the fact that the survey is “old news” doesn’t stop many publications from touting rates as if they are available now.

Unfortunately, the fact that the survey is “old news” doesn’t stop many publications from touting rates as if they are available now.

Freddie Mac’s survey is great for historical reference, but terrible for real-time rate quotes.

So are mortgage rates “bad” today? By no means. Rates are probably only slightly higher than they were earlier this week — maybe by 0.125%.

Or, you may get the same rate available on Monday, but with slightly higher fees. Either way, you can’t go wrong by locking in your mortgage when rates are just coming off all-time lows.

Find and lock a low rate.

I already locked. Now what?

If you are one of the lucky ones who locked in earlier this week, you don’t need to call your lender asking if rates are better now.

You potentially captured one of the lowest mortgage rates of all time.

However, now you’re in a bit of a time crunch. Lenders are swamped with applications and may have a hard time closing your loan before the lock expires.

So — and this is no exaggeration — drop everything you are doing and submit all required documentation to your lender right now.

If you get your paperwork in before everyone else does, the lender will process your file first. If you wait, your lock could expire. Then you face extra fees to extend the lock or lose your ultra-low rate altogether.

Additionally, set up the appraisal. Appraisers will be swamped. That process alone could soon take weeks. Unless you applied for a streamline refinance, you’ll need a new appraisal.

In short, be on top of your mortgage application. Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.

How can I still find a low rate?

Mortgage rates are still near rock-bottom.

Today’s rates are holding to lows not seen in over seven years, and perhaps all time.

Your best weapon, then, is to negotiate the best rate possible by getting a few written quotes from different lenders.

Banks and mortgage companies still want your business despite high application volumes. If you get a low quote, take it to another lender and see if they can beat it.

You can get started on finding today’s still-low rates here.

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

Tim Lucas
Authored By: Tim Lucas
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Tim Lucas spent 11 years in the mortgage industry before moving into the world of digital media. He's helped thousands of families buy and refinance real estate at banks and mortgage companies and now continues that mission through industry-leading content. Tim has been featured in national publications such as Time, U.S. News and World Report, MSN, Scotsman Guide, and more.