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Mortgage rates continue to show little movement

Mortgage rates have stayed fairly stable for several weeks now.
2/10/2017 6:45:25 PM

Mortgage rates have stayed fairly stable for several weeks now, Freddie Mac pointed out in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. Rates were a mere 2 basis points below what they were the week before.

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage came in at 4.17%, down from 4.19% the week before.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage landed at 3.39%, a decrease from 3.41% one week earlier.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.21% from 3.23% seven days prior.

Bankrate's figures were in line with Freddie's, with all three closely watched mortgage rates decreasing.

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage came to 4.01%, down from 4.04% the previous week.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage settled at 3.15%, declining from 3.18% seven days earlier.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage dropped to 3.14% from 3.18% the week before.

"So far in 2017, there haven't been any dramatic swings"

Freddie Mac pointed out that uncertainty surrounding the new presidential administration's anticipated fiscal policies, combined with positive economic indicators, have successfully kept rates within two basis points for the past three weeks, and so far in 2017, there haven't been any dramatic swings to note.

Treasury yields increase

Treasury yields ascended Thursday, Reuters reported. President Donald Trump's talk of policies that will spark economic growth inspired the rise in yields. Given the general trend of conventional mortgage rates following the path of Treasury yields, this pattern could indicate potential rate increases in the near future.

However, 88% of respondents to Bankrate's Rate Trend Index survey said they believe mortgage rates will either hold steady or decline in the coming week.

"The devil is in the details," explained Greg McBride, senior vice president and chief financial analyst at Bankrate. "Skepticism about policy changes is pushing mortgage rates down while any specific announcements will lead to higher rates. Mortgage rates will be rangebound - down one week and up the next - as clarity emerges."

Though the potential policy changes have some investors hopeful, others aren't so sure. Overall, analysts' confidence continues to be mixed, Reuters noted.

"We're going to sit here and we're going to try to read between the lines about what's going on down there (in Washington) and figure out what's actually going to happen," Charles Comiskey, the head of Treasuries trading at Bank of Nova Scotia in New York City, told Reuters.

Yellen captures attention

Meanwhile, another powerful force will capture the attention of many on Valentine's Day: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to deliver her semi-annual congressional testimony on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Yellen's speech can easily sway the industry's view of the economic landscape, NerdWallet pointed out.

During her report, Yellen is expected to speak on the most recent economic indicators and financial changes, as well as policy decisions and the Fed's prediction on how these factors will impact the economy.

As mortgage rates continue to show little change from one week to the next, now could be a wise time for a prospective homebuyer to close on a house. As the days grow longer and we head toward spring, prices are likely to increase. Finalizing a sale while home prices and mortgage rates remain low could save a future homeowner money in the long run.

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