After a big run-up in mortgage rates after the Federal Reserve boosted its benchmark interest rates in mid-December, mortgage rates are in a moderate decline in the last week.
On Tuesday, January 3, the average 30-year mortgage rate slid one basis point, from 3.96% to 3.95%, according to Zillow.com. For the previous seven days, "the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was down seven basis points from the previous week's average rate of 4.02%," Zillow reports.
But if you're out looking for a good 30-year mortgage rate this week, expect to pay more than the average rate posted by Zillow. According to Mortgage News Daily, the "most prevalent" rate for people actually purchasing a mortgage is 4.25%. "But quite a few lenders remain at 4.375% and a scant few are down to 4.125%," states Matthew Graham, chief operating officer at Mortgage News Daily, in a post out this week.
Mortgage industry experts say that last week's rate decline is only a blip, and that rates should continue their post-Fed rate hike march as the year goes on.
"Mortgage rates are likely to move higher in 2017," says Anna Dunn Tabke, director of research at Alpha Capital Management, in Atlanta. "The Federal Reserve, after much back-and-forth, raised the Fed Funds rate in December and look likely to do so at least one or two more times in 2017. This is really the key driver with rates right now."
Another potential impact is the general performance of the bond market, Tabke says. "Fixed income prices were hit hard in the fourth quarter, particularly after Trump was elected and started pitching a big infrastructure build out, funded, most likely, by debt, given his stance on taxes," she notes "When prices go down, yields go up. So this had an effect, but as we often see, markets can get carried away before correcting a bit."