Mortgage Rates Could Trend Upward Through 2020
December 13, 2019
A humming economy and a halt to Federal Reserve interest rate hikes—at least in the immediate future—are helping to push mortgage rates higher. With economic expansion expected to continue into the new year, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which increased to an average of 3.73% this week, could see steady inclines over the long haul, Freddie Mac reports.
“With Federal Reserve policy on cruise control and the economy continuing to grow at a steady pace, mortgage rates have stabilized as the market searches for direction,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The risk of an economic downturn has receded, and, combined with the very strong job market, it should lead to a slightly higher rate environment.”
Mortgage rates reached their lowest point of the year in early September, hitting 3.49%, but they’ve been inching upward since. “Often, while higher mortgage rates are deleterious, improved economic sentiment is the reason that these higher rates have not impacted mortgage demand so far,” Khater adds.
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 12:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.73%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 3.68% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.63%.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.19%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 3.14% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.07%.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36%, with an average 0.4 point, down from 3.93% last week. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 4.04%.
Updated: January 21, 2020