Economic uncertainty pushes mortgage rates lower

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Mortgage rates continued to move lower as a result of economic uncertainty, according to Freddie Mac.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.89% for the week ending Aug. 17, down from last week, when it averaged 3.9%. A year ago at this time the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.43%. That puts the 30-year fixed just 1 basis point above the low for 2017 logged in early June.

30-Year FRM 15-Year FRM 5/1-Year ARM
Average Rates 3.89% 3.16% 3.16%
Fees & Points 0.4 0.5 0.4
Margin N/A N/A 2.74

"Following a mild decline last week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose 1 basis point this week. The 30-year mortgage rate similarly remained relatively flat, falling just 1 basis point. Mortgage rates are continuing to hold at low levels amidst ongoing economic uncertainty," Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a press release.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.16%, down from last week, when it averaged 3.18%. A year ago at this time the 15-year averaged 2.74%.

The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.16%, up from last week when it averaged 3.14%. A year ago at this time it averaged 2.76%.

"Mortgage rates fell last week to their lowest levels since late June, driven down by geopolitical uncertainty as tensions with North Korea escalated and weak inflation data pushed back expectations for Fed rate hikes," Erin Lantz, Zillow's vice president of mortgages, said when that company released its own rate tracker on Tuesday.

"This week geopolitical developments could continue to move markets," Lantz said, “but several speeches by Fed officials late in the week could also provide insight into the committee’s view of recent inflation data."

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