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Mortgage rates fell on Tuesday: The average 30-year mortgage rate is now 3.51%, which equates to a $449.60 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed. A month ago, the equivalent payment would have been higher by $9.44.

Should you opt for a shorter term, the average 15-year mortgage rate is now 2.82%, which equates to a $681.96 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed. A month ago, the equivalent payment would have been higher by $9.51.

Rate (national average)

Today

1 Month Ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.13%

4.32%

30-year fixed

3.51%

3.34%

15-year fixed

2.80%

2.62%

30-year fixed refi

3.54%

3.39%

15-year fixed refi

2.82%

2.64%

5/1 ARM

3.04%

2.88%

5/1 ARM refi

3.19%

2.98%

5/1 ARM = adjustable-rate mortgage with an initial fixed five-year interest rate. Data source: Bloomberg.

U.S. construction falls unexpectedly, but residential construction rebounds

The Commerce Department announced on Tuesday that construction spending fell 0.4% in September relative to the revised August estimate. The decline was a negative surprise; according to Bloomberg, the consensus estimate called for a gain of 0.6%, with the low end of the range still indicating growth of 0.2%.

However, it's non-residential construction that was the problem area, with outlays on private non-residential falling 0.9% month over month; meanwhile, private residential construction rose 0.5% -- a sharp rebound from a 1.2% drop in September. That is good news in the context of last Friday's third-quarter GDP report, which had home construction falling at an annualized rate of 6.2%, subtracting nearly a quarter of a percentage point (0.24%) from economic growth.

Nevertheless, the growth rate in private residential spending masks a sharp dichotomy between new spending on the key single-family-home category, which inched forward by just 0.1%, and the multifamily-home category, which rose 2%.

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