Mortgage Rates Headed Towards 2014 Lows?

"By all rights mortgage rates should be rising by now," wrote Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, in the latest Market Trends newsletter, but thanks to an inconsistent economy here at home and a rocky situation in many countries abroad, mortgage rates continue to find more room to settle.

"Each time there appears to be sufficient reason for rates to kick higher, something else comes along to press them back down."

Current mortgage rates hit three-week low
Here are the latest mortgage rates from HSH.com:

  • 30-year: The overall average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (conforming, non-conforming and jumbo) dipped by 0.06 percent to drop back to 4.43 percent, a three-week low.
  • 15-year: The overall average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages (conforming, non-conforming and jumbo) also eased by 0.06 percent, falling to 3.57 percent for the week.
  • FHA: FHA-backed 30-year FRMs also shedding 0.06 percent to return to 4.10 percent for the period.
  • ARMs: The overall 5/1 Hybrid ARM also declined by 0.06 percent, ending the week at an average of 3.10 percent.

What's currently moving mortgage rates?
Any number of factors contributes to mortgage rates moving one way or the other. Since the start of the year, rates have been bouncing higher and lower on a seemingly weekly basis. Here's a look at the current factors influencing the movement of mortgage rates:

Factors that could cause mortgage rates to rise:

  • Improving job market
  • Asset inflation
  • Consistent economic growth

Factors that could cause mortgage rates to fall:

  • Low levels of inflation
  • A weak, sporadic economy here in the U.S.
  • A weak, sporadic economy among our top trading partners
  • Weak employment participation
  • Little demand for credit
  • Little consumer spending

Mortgage rates headed for 2014 lows?
"As far as mortgage rates go," said Gumbinger, "we had our little incline, rising to close to 2014 highs, but have apparently crested the hill and we're headed back down into a dip. We actually have a shot at setting 2014 lows [this] week if investors continue to shun stocks at the rate they have lately, and especially if there's nothing in the economic news of concern."

While we're expected to start the week off with mortgage rates trending downward, we could reverse course a bit if the economic reports out this week prove that the spring thaw is in full effect.

"We'll at least start the week on a downward rise, but may end up back at the same platform at which we ended [last] week," concludes Gumbinger.

This article Mortgage Rates Headed Towards 2014 Lows? originally appeared on HSH.com.

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