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Low Mortgage Rates and Lenders Easing Financing Standards Will Help Housing in 2015

Low Mortgage Rates and Lenders Easing Financing Standards Will Help Housing in 2015

The lowest mortgage rates in 60 years hasn't helped re-vigor the housing market from the worst bust since the Great Depression. Since the housing bust, the Federal Reserve's economic polices were designed to force mortgage rates down to record lows. The Fed has been successful at driving rates down, but one factor has kept a lid on a full housing recovery, lending standards.

Prior to the housing bust, anyone and everyone was able to get a mortgage. The most outrageous loans given to people were "no doc" loans, one was able to get a mortgage without providing proof of your income. Thankfully those days are gone but now the pendulum has swung the other direction and only people with the best credit scores are able to get a loan. That is until recently.

According to Ellie Mae Research, in July 2014, 67 percent of all mortgages applied for closed, meaning the loan was approved and given to the buyer. That is a large increase from January 2014, when  the rate of mortgages that closed were at just 53 percent.

Lenders relaxing lending standards will help the housing market and help one group in particular, first time home buyers. Late last month federal regulars dropped a requirement that borrowers make a 20% down payment in order to get a "high-quality" mortgage. Regulators voted to relax the standard after hearing warnings that such a requirement hinders the ability of millions of Americans to get a mortgage.

Fannie and Freddie are also planning to guarantee some loans with down payments of as little as 3%. These new relaxed lending standards combined with current mortgage rates near record lows will help reinvigorate the housing market in 2015. Mortgage rates today on 30 year conforming loans are averaging 3.97 percent, about 0.50 percent higher from a record low set in 2013.

There are many lenders quoting 30 year mortgage rates much lower than the average rate. The lowest 30 year refinance rates this week are quoted at 3.625 percent with 1 mortgage point. The lowest 30 year refi rate without points is also below the average at 3.75 percent.

Current mortgage rates on 15 year conforming loans are averaging 3.11 percent, down from an average 15 year rate of 3.15 percent. You can easily find lenders quoting 15 year refinance rates below the average rate and below 3.00 percent. The lowest rate in our database for California are at 2.875 percent with 1 mortgage point and at 3.00 percent with no points.

Today's mortgage rates on 30 year jumbo loans are averaging 4.20 percent, a decline from the previous week's average 30 year jumbo rate of 4.26 percent. The lowest 30 year jumbo refinance rates in the database for New Jersey are at 3.75 percent with 1 mortgage point and at 3.875 percent with no points.

Average 15 year jumbo mortgage rates are currently at 3.74 percent, down from the prior week's average 15 year rate of 3.77 percent. The best 15 year jumbo refinance rates quoted today in the rate table for Illinois are at 3.125 percent with 0.50 points and at 3.25 percent with zero points.

5 year adjustable mortgage rates on conforming loans are averaging 3.22 percent. Last week the average 5 year conforming ARM was at 3.31 percent. The lowest 5 year adjustable refinance rate available in the database for Florida is at 2.40 percent with 1 point and at 2.50 percent with no points.

Jumbo adjustable mortgage rates on 5 year loans are averaging 3.47 percent, down from last week's average 5 year jumbo rate of 3.54 percent. The best 5 year jumbo rate available today is at 2.50 percent with 2 mortgage points and at 2.75 percent with no points.



Author: Brian McKay
November 19th, 2014