Keep up with current mortgage rates at HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center. Rates are updated daily and include data from Freddie Mac and Optimal Blue.
Optimal Blue data is based on actual rate lock transactions and therefore includes borrowers across the credit spectrum. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) provides the rates available to the best borrowers.
Freddie Mac PMMS 10/22/2020
The average U.S. mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan fell to 2.8% this week, the lowest in Freddie Mac’s survey history. The rate fell one basis points from the week prior. The average fixed rate for a 15-year mortgage was 2.33%, falling from last week’s 2.35%.
After this week’s dip, there have now been 13 consecutive weeks when average mortgage rates have been below 3%, and rates have broken records 11 times this year.
“Mortgage rates remain very low, providing homeowners who have not already taken advantage of this environment ample opportunity to do so,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Mortgage rates today are on average more than a full percentage point lower than rates over the last five years.”
While purchase loans are seeing record-low rates, the adverse market fee imposed on refinance loans by the FHFA in August make record lows for those loans unlikely.
During this week’s Mortgage Bankers Association annual event, the heads of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac discussed the adverse market fee.
“As you know, safety and soundness is one, two, and three for us,” said Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater. “And for us to play our role in all markets, good and bad, markets small and large, we have to do it safely and soundly with long-term risk management in mind. And that’s the rationale for this change, as the GSEs are shouldering significant risks associated with the pandemic — as the principal risk taker, we have to price that risk appropriately.”
Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman struck a similar tone, saying that the GSEs have provided “extraordinary support” to the market.
“Costs have changed, risks have changed. What we put in place is an appropriate and prudent response to that change in the external environment for us to support struggling homeowners.”
They both noted that with interest rates still low, borrowers will realize savings, even with the 50 basis point refinance fee factored in. “But obviously, anybody who’s refinancing their mortgage at a lower rate is already beginning to save in terms of their mortgage payments, this only means they save just a little bit less than they would have otherwise,” said Brickman.
The average U.S. mortgage rate for a 30-year fixed loan fell to 2.81% this week, the lowest in Freddie Mac’s survey history. The rate fell six basis points from the week prior. The average fixed rate for a 15-year mortgage was 2.35%, falling from last week’s 2.37% — matching the record set three weeks ago.