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HSH.com: Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly for the Week

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Mar 19, 2014

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages eased slightly according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by two basis points (0.02 percent) to 4.41 percent. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by three basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.11 percent. "Just as it appeared that the economic situation was improving after a rough patch, a few new worries surfaced, keeping investors looking for safety," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "That safety is often found in U.S. Treasuries, and as money comes into these, yields decline, with mortgage rates following closely behind." A report covering manufacturing activity in China sunk to an eight-month low in February, pointing to weakness in an economy which provides significant export growth for many emerging markets. If growth in China's economy has slowed, other economies can expect to feel repercussions; in turn, if investors believe that prospects in these locations have diminished, at least some investment dollars tend to get shifted out of harm's way, often benefitting U.S. mortgage shoppers, if inadvertently. "Even with the little decline, the reality is that mortgage rates have been wandering up and down for a couple of months now," adds Gumbinger. "The ebb and flow of our own economy hasn't produced any regular upward traction for mortgage rates, and these additional events simply serve to keep downward pressure on them, at least for a while." The Federal Reserve finishes a two-day meeting today. Although no change to monetary policy is expected beyond another reduction to QE purchases, we may see a change to the Fed's "forward guidance" about the timing and any triggers for future policy changes. Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending March 18, according to HSH.com: Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ►Average rate: 4.41 percent ►Average points: 0.19 Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage ►Average rate: 3.11 percent ►Average points: 0.13 Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending March 11 were, according to HSH.com: Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ►Average rate: 4.43 percent ►Average points: 0.21 Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage ►Average rate: 3.14 percent ►Average points: 0.08
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