Interestrates

Interest Rates

Finance
What to expect if you’re shopping for a mortgage this spring

Much like snagging a deal on airfare, locking in a low mortgage rate is largely about timing. Fortunately, interest rates don’t fluctuate nearly as much (or as often) as the prices on Orbitz or Priceline. They do, however, have a greater impact on your finances. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on what Fannie and Freddie are up to if you’re planning to buy a home in the near future.

Not sure where to start? Don’t stress! We did a lot of the legwork for you. Here’s a look at what you can expect if you’re in the market to apply for a mortgage this spring.

Interest Rate Snapshot

Mortgage rates have been on the rise as of late and recently exceeded the 4 percent mark for the first time since December. Though rates are still low by historical standards, they are expected to creep higher throughout the year. How high? The NAR forecasts an average interest rate of 4.3 percent in the third quarter and 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Here’s where we stand today (March 9, 2015).

Mortgage Type Interest Rate APR
30-year fixed rate 4.125% 4.150%
15-year fixed rate 3.500% 3.552%

 

To put things in perspective, let’s take a look at how mortgage rates have behaved historically. This time last year, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 4.28 percent and the 15-year rate was 3.32 percent. As you can see, interest rates for 30-year mortgages are lower than they were in 2014 – but for how long?

“There’s a window of opportunity for buying and refinancing at crazy-low rates, but it’s closing,” says Gina Pogol, loan expert at Charlotte, North Carolina-based LendingTree.

The bottom line: Mortgage interest rates have been on an upward trend. If you’re shopping for a new mortgage and your ability to secure one is contingent upon rates staying at or below current levels, you may want to act sooner rather than later.

For the most up-to-date interest rates, plug your information into our mortgage calculator. (Yep, that one over on the left.)

*Note: The information above is provided by Wells Fargo and applies to conforming loans only. For rates on FHA and jumbo loans visit WellsFargo.com.

Image credit: John Edward Linden/Arcaid/Corbis

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Kate Kasbee
Kate Kasbee is a blogger and freelance copywriter living in Los Angeles. She has a background in real estate marketing and has also written about a variety of subjects including pet care, how to adopt a vegan diet, and technology. Prior to living in sunny California, Kate spent eight years in Chicago where she lived in nine different apartments in five different neighborhoods. Though she’s not quite done exploring, Kate dreams of planting her roots and owning a home with creaky floors and plenty of land for starting an organic farm.
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