15-year mortgage rates slip, keeping refi prospects strong

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The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage fell almost 10 basis points this week, averaging 2.48 percent in the latest Bankrate survey. Although mortgage rates have generally trended upward since February, they are still near historical lows, and this dip is certainly good news for borrowers who may have worried about missing the boat on the lowest-possible rates.

Across the board, mortgage rates have been extremely low since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and that has made 15-year mortgages more attractive to more homeowners than ever. A 15-year mortgage saves borrowers because these loans usually have lower interest rates to begin with than their 30-year counterparts. With less time for interest to compound, 15-year amortization schedules wind up being much less expensive overall.

However, 15-year loans can squeeze household budgets with higher monthly payments, so they can prove unaffordable in higher rate environments.

Experts in Bankrate’s weekly poll expect rates to either remain the same or fall again next week, so now is the time to think about a refinance if you still haven’t done it. These super-low rates won’t last forever, even if they hold on for another week.

“Strong economic growth did not put upward pressure on rates, but instead we saw a bit of a reduction, which is definitely a change,” said Jennifer Kouchis, senior vice president of real estate lending at VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Florida. “I suspect that rates will be pretty flat this week, although the market seems to be ignoring typical trends and indicators.”

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Written by
Zach Wichter
Mortgage reporter
Zach Wichter is a mortgage reporter at Bankrate. He previously worked on the Business desk at The New York Times where he won a Loeb Award for breaking news, and covered aviation for The Points Guy.
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