Mortgage Rates Wander Lower After Weeks Of Volatility

By Washington Post
Posted on 08/18/22 | News Source: Washington Post

After weeks of dramatic moves, mortgage rates took a small step back this week.

According to the latest data released Thursday by Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate average fell to 5.13% with an average 0.8 point. (A point is a fee paid to a lender equal to 1% of the loan amount. It is in addition to the interest rate.) It was 5.22% a week ago and 2.86% a year ago.

Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, aggregates rates from around 80 lenders across the country to come up with weekly national averages. The survey is based on home purchase mortgages. Rates for refinances may be different. It uses rates for high-quality borrowers with strong credit scores and large down payments. Because of the criteria, these rates are not available to every borrower.

The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 4.55% with an average 0.7 point. It was 4.59% a week ago and 2.16% a year ago. The five-year adjustable rate average slipped to 4.39% with an average 0.3 point. It was 4.43% a week ago and 2.43% a year ago.

“Mortgage rates have steadied after a few weeks of big up-and-down swings as bond markets found little impetus to move in either direction,” said Holden Lewis, home and mortgage expert at NerdWallet. “As mortgage rates stood relatively still, the number of people applying for mortgages dropped to the lowest level since 2000. This year’s rapid rise in mortgage rates and home prices has discouraged buyers. On top of that, would-be buyers increasingly believe that house prices will fall, so they’re shelving their homebuying plans for now, hoping to buy at lower prices later. That’s why mortgage applications are at a 22-year low.”