Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined again this week.
The following was posted by Polyana da Costa • Bankrate.com
Mortgage rates stayed down this week as investors waited for Congress to reach a budget agreement, end the shutdown and raise the country’s debt ceiling.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.39 percent from 4.41 percent last week, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.47 percent, the same as last week, and the benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.34 percent from 3.4 percent. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo stayed at 4.58 percent.
The low rates continued to attract buyers and refinancers even during the shutdown, lenders say.
“We’ve seen a nice uptick in applications,” says Brett Sinnott, director of secondary marketing for CMG Mortgage in San Ramon, Calif.
The volume of refinance applications increased 3 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The volume of applications from buyers decreased 1 percent.
Many lenders had feared they wouldn’t be able to process and close loans until the government reopened, mainly because with closures at the Internal Revenue Service, lenders cannot obtain tax transcripts as they normally do when underwriting loans. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued guidelines allowing lenders to obtain the transcripts after the loan closes, after the IRS reopens.
Although some lenders have encountered obstacles and some delays, for the most part, loans are closing as scheduled, mortgage professionals say.