Borrowers with 700 credit scores were quoted an average rate of 3.433% to secure a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage on Wednesday, according to Money’s survey of over 8,000 lenders across the United States. At this credit score, roughly the national average, the average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.366%. Our rates include discount points and are for borrowers putting 20% down.
|30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage|
|Rate of September 9, 2020|
Borrowers in Washington, D.C. were quoted the lowest mortgage rates on Wednesday—at 3.258%. Those in Georgia saw the highest average rate at 3.678%. Nationwide, borrowers with the highest credit scores, 740 and above, were quoted rates averaging 3.088%, while those with credit of 640 or below were given rates of 4.892%—a 1.804 percentage point spread.
You may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you shop around or if you have other accounts with the lender. (Money’s picks for the best mortgage lenders are here). Currently, some banks are hiking up advertised rates to keep demand in check, so you may be offered a lower rate if you reach out directly.
Freddie Mac’s widely quoted Primary Mortgage Market Survey put rates at 2.86%, a new record low, with 0.8 points paid for the week ending September 10. The mortgage purchaser’s weekly survey reflects borrowers who put 20% down on conforming loans and have excellent credit.
Refinance rates today
Money’s survey shows that the offered rate for a 30 year refinance for someone with a 740 credit score was 3.63% on Wednesday. Last September, the average mortgage rate (including fees) was 3.922%.
|30-year fixed-rate mortgage refi|
|Rate of September 9, 2020|
A homeowner with a $200,000 mortgage balance currently paying 3.922% on a 30-year loan could potentially cut their monthly payment from $946 to $913 by financing at today’s lower rates. To determine if it’s worth it to refinance your mortgage, also consider the closing fees you paid on your current mortgage, how much your new lender is charging and how long you have left on your loan term. (Our picks for the best lenders for refinancing are here).
What else is happening in the housing market right now?
Home prices keep rising and inventory is selling faster than ever as the “spring” house-buying season, which had already turned into the “summer” buying season, tries to become the “fall” buying season. Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Market Recovery Index reached 107.7 for the week ending September 5, showing that the housing market remains strong despite the lingering effects of the coronavirus on the economy. The index increased 1.5% week-over-week and was 7.7 points above the pre-COVID baseline of 100.
What accounts for the increase? Median home prices were up 10.8% over the same week last year, the fastest pace of growth in over two years. It also is the 17th consecutive week during which home prices were either equal to or higher than the previous week’s numbers. The pace of home sales is also up, with homes selling 12 days faster than they did at this time last year.
The report does indicate, however, that there may be a slight slowdown coming. The buyer demand component of the index was down 3.3 points week-over-week although it remains well above baseline. At the same time, the new listing component was up 3.2 points, meaning that the decline in new listing inventory was slower than in previous weeks, although the overall market inventory remains down 39% from last year. Improvement in new listings provides more options for buyers interested in purchasing a home but are having a hard time finding affordable housing.
“This week’s report revealed two indicators worth keeping an eye on. Housing demand cooled slightly, while new listings showed a smaller decline than previous weeks,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “This could be a hiccup in weekly activity, or if these trends continue, they could signal a shift in market dynamics leading into the fall when political, economic, and health-related uncertainties abound.”
Mortgage tip of the week
Buying a home can be daunting. follow these expert tips to make the process easier.
Jess Kennedy, co-founder and general counsel for online lender Beeline, on getting the most information possible out of a virtual home tour:
Don’t be afraid to ask them to zoom in on particular features or areas of the home during the tour. Ask about the colors, materials, and little details if you can’t see them clearly.”
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