Average mortgage rates remain unchanged in spite of uncertainty

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained unchanged for the third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac, even with political uncertainty affecting the overall economic outlook.

30-Year FRM 15-Year FRM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 4.45% 3.88% 3.90%
Fees & Points 0.4 0.4 0.3
Margin N/A N/A 2.76

"Lenders typically price conservatively going into holiday weekends, and we saw some of that leading into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. But the defensive pricing we saw late last week far exceeded what we would typically expect," Aaron Terrazas, Zillow's senior economist, said in a press release. "Besides the geo-political uncertainty due to the shutdown as well as trade with China, rates stayed flat following the release of strong regional manufacturing data."

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% for the week ending Jan. 24, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15%.

"Mortgage rates have stabilized during the last month and are essentially at the same level as last spring — yet the most recent home sales are roughly half a million lower over the same period," Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, said in a separate press release. "Given that the economy remains on solid footing and weekly mortgage purchase application activity has been strong so far in 2019, we expect the decline in home sales to moderate or even reverse over the next couple of months."

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage this week averaged 3.88%, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.9% with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.87%. A year ago at this time, the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.52%.

"As the U.S. government shutdown continues, markets remain reliant on private-sector and international data in order to gauge the strength of the U.S. economy," said Terrazas. "However, much like last week, in the absence of most economic data releases, it will remain particularly difficult for monetary policymakers to set expectations until the government re-opens. As a result, markets are likely expecting this volatile yet net-sideways trend to continue until Washington heads back to work."

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Mortgage rates forecast Mortgage rates Government shutdown Purchase Freddie Mac Zillow