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On the radar: Freddie Mac reports mortgage interest rates higher as of July 18

On July 18, Freddie Mac reported mortgage interest rates were higher. The 30-year fixed rate was 3.81%, up 6 basis points from the prior week when it was unchanged at 3.7%. The 15-year fixed rate inched up 1 basis point to 3.23%, but has been up for three weeks in a row. The 5/1-year ARM rate was up 2 basis points to 3.48% and also up for three weeks in a row.

For July to-date, the 30-year fixed rate is at 3.77%, the lowest since 3.77% in November 2016. The 15-year fixed rate for the first three weeks of July averaged 3.21%, the lowest since 3.20% in October 2017.  The rate for a 5/1-year ARM is at 3.46%, the lowest since 3.39% in December 2017. These sorts of rates helped boost the housing sector well into 2018.

The mild gains of the past few weeks will not be enough to put off homebuyers. In fact, it may motivate those presently on the market to commit to a purchase and lock in a rate before there are further increases. It is a warning that mortgage rates may not go much lower again even if the FOMC decides to lower short-term rates at the July 30-31 meeting.


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