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The average 30-year mortgage rate fell seven basis points from a week prior to 3.99% on Monday, which equates to a $476.84 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed (one basis point equals one hundredth of a percentage point). That payment is unchanged relative to a month ago.

The average 15-year mortgage rate is down eight basis points to 3.16%, equating to a $698.30 monthly payment per $100,000 borrowed. A month ago, the equivalent payment would have been higher by $0.79.

Rate (National Average)

Today

1 Month Ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.43%

4.51%

30-year fixed

3.99%

3.99%

15-year fixed

3.16%

3.17%

30-year fixed refi

4.02%

4.03%

15-year fixed refi

3.18%

3.19%

5/1 ARM

3.32%

3.33%

5/1 ARM refi

3.50%

3.55%

5/1 ARM: ADJUSTABLE-RATE MORTGAGE WITH AN INITIAL FIXED 5-YEAR INTEREST RATE. DATA SOURCE: BLOOMBERG. RATES MAY INCLUDE POINTS.

The Fed's Rosengren sees the economy near its sweet spot, requiring "a more regular increase" in short-term interest rates

Speaking in Hartford to the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president Eric Rosengren observed that the economy had made "remarkable progress" relative to the depths of the Great Recession, putting us in the vicinity of the Fed's dual mandate for maximum sustainable employment and price stability (the Federal Reserve's target for annual inflation is 2%).

That covers the first topic of Rosengren's speech, titled "Current Economic Conditions and Implications for Monetary Policy." On the second, he commented:

Without further gradual increases in interest rates, one might be concerned that the unemployment rate could drift below its long‐run sustainable level -- and as a result, inflation could eventually exceed the Fed's 2 percent target ... a still gradual but somewhat more regular increase in the federal funds rate will be warranted.

The minutes of the Fed's December monetary policy meeting had policymakers acknowledging a wild card, though: economic policy under the incoming Trump administration and, specifically, a possible fiscal stimulus that might spur inflation and require a more aggressive calendar for interest rate hikes. The Fed's projections from the same meeting have the central bank raising the Federal funds rate three times this year.

Mortgage rates are closely tied to the 10-year Treasury yield, which isn't set by the Fed (though it is related to expectations regarding the path for short-term rates); nevertheless, for potential homebuyers, it doesn't seem unwise to start firming up plans sooner rather than later.

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