The wild stock market’s upside: Lower mortgage rates

WASHINGTON – If there’s a reason to like all the stock market turmoil the past few weeks, it could be lower mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates fell again this week with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage now averaging 3.81 percent, down from 3.92 percent last week. That’s the lowest a 30-year rate has been in three months.

The average rate on a 15-year fix is now just 3.10 percent, down from 3.19 percent last week.

“This drop reflected weak inflation – 0.7 percent CPI inflation for all of 2015 – and nonstop financial market turbulence that is driving investors to safe haven treasuries,” said Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti. “However, the survey was largely complete prior to Wednesday’s Treasury rally that drove the yield on the 10-year Treasury below 2 percent, down 29 basis points since the end of 2015.”

And that may be reason for mortgage rates to fall further.

More existing homeowners are moving to take advantage of falling rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association says applications to refinance an existing mortgage jumped 19 percent last week.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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