What Mortgage Rates Are Doing This Week: Shoud I Lock Or Float?

Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate mortgage ratesMortgage-backed securities (MBS) improved a bit last week, and rates remain near all-time low’s, continuing this year’s Refinance Boom and giving fuel to the budding housing market recovery.

At month-end, Freddie Mac’s survey of 125 banks nationwide put the benchmark product’s 30-year fixed-rate at 3.32% for borrowers willing to pay 0.8 discount points. The 15-year fixed mortgage is similarly low, posting 2.64 percent nationwide, on average. This, too, is only slightly higher the all-time low set the week prior.

Steady job creation and rising consumer confidence has swelled the pool of home buyers nationwide, causing home inventories to shrink and home prices to rise. The improving economy has also led to rising rents and now, within many housing markets, it’s less costly to buy and own a home than to rent a comparable one.

A $1,000 mortgage payment affords a $225,000 mortgage payment in West Sacramento.

Last week, the economy was shown to be improving.

  • The Commerce Department showed the GDP increased at a 2.7% annual rate in Q3 2012
  • The Labor Department showed first-time unemployment filings dropping by 23,000 claims
  • The Pending Home Sales Index jumped to its highest point since April 2010
  • The Existing Home Sales report showed home sales up 2.1%
  • The Case-Shiller Index showed home values making annual gains

In addition, Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke said that the central bank will take action to speed economic growth, should the U.S. economy start to side-step.

Mortgage rates will move this week on Fiscal Cliff talks and this Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls report. The U.S. economy has added more than 4.5 milloin jobs since January 2010 and Wall Street is expecting to see 90,000 more in November – If the actual report shows more than 90,000 net new jobs, rates are expected to rise.

If you’re currently floating a mortgage rate, this might be the time to lock that rate. My recommendation now is to lock your loan if you can.

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