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Mortgage Interest Rates Move Down Again But Still Relatively High

Sep 5, 2008
Mortgage interest rates moved down again this week. This marks the fifth week in a row where 30 Year mortgage rates have either fallen or held steady. This is of course good news for people looking to buy a house. This is also good news for the real estate market. A few weeks ago a weakened real estate market was dealing with additional burden of some of the highest mortgage rates we have seen in a year. Below are the mortgage rates for the major mortgage products for the last few months. As we can see while the 30 Year rate has fallen both the 5 year and the 1 year arm have for the most part held steady. This brings the difference between the 30 Year rate and the 5 year and 1 year arm back to roughly normal levels. The 15 year mortgage rate has been falling as well over the last month but not as much as the 30 year rate.

August 28,2008
30-yr 6.40 15-yr 5.93 5-yr ARM 6.03 1-yr ARM 5.33

August 21,2008
30-yr 6.47 15-yr 6.00 5-yr ARM 5.99 1-yr ARM 5.29

August 14,2008
30-yr 6.52 15-yr 6.07 5-yr ARM 6.02 1-yr ARM 5.18

August 7,2008
30-yr 6.52 15-yr 6.10 5-yr ARM 6.05 1-yr ARM 5.22

July 31,2008
30-yr 6.52 15-yr 6.07 5-yr ARM 6.07 1-yr ARM 5.27

While 30 mortgage rates have fallen they are still above what we saw a few months ago when mortgage rates where hovering around 6.0. So while mortgage rates are relatively high I still think this is a pretty good sign. Why? Basically mortgage rates have fallen in spite of the fact that recently the FED has decided not to lower rates. Does this mean that banks are feeling better about handing out mortgages? I would not go that far. If anything I would think that rates rose suddenly a month ago and simply overshot. And now they are simply reacting to that original large increase by moving down a bit. So let's look at what the mortgage rates mean for an actual mortgage. Using our mortgage calculator let's run through the numbers based on a 200k mortgage. We looked at what a mortgage would be this week plus a week and a month ago.

August 28th
30-yr $1251.01
15-yr $1680.15
5-yr ARM $1202.96
1-yr ARM $1114.33

August 21st
30-yr $1260.19
15-yr $1687.71
5-yr ARM $1197.81
1-yr ARM $1109.36

July 24th
30-yr $1281.28
15-yr $1707.22
5-yr ARM $1219.75
1-yr ARM $1134.32

So what is going to happen over the next few months? It's always hard to predict but here is my guess. I think rates will hold steady or fall a bit over the next two months. I am expecting rates to come down a bit after the election. Of course a lot could happen between now and then. If the market runs into more problems I would expect rates to increase. Why? The Fed has their hands tied behind the back they cannot lower the Fed rate too many more times.
About the Author
Escapeso Realty provides information on mortgage rates. They have a graph of historical mortgage rates along with a free mortgage calculator and a mortgage interest rates widget.
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