New construction of house
Scott Olson/Getty Images

 

Mortgage rates across the board slid last week, giving buyers a bit of relief. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.68 percent from 4.70 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. Meanwhile, new construction starts saw a sharp slowdown last month.

The average 15-year fixed rate inched down to 4.11 percent from 4.13 percent, and the average rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, slipped one basis point to 4.13 percent from 4.14 percent.

Total U.S. housing starts fell sharply to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.173 million, down 12.3 percent from May’s revised estimate of 1.337 million, according to a joint release by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This follows two consecutive months of increases. This is also 4.2 percent below June 2017’s rate.

Single-family housing starts in June led the slump, dropping 9.1 percent to a rate of 858,000 from May’s level of 944,000.

Builders continue to face cost pressures, such as higher lumber prices, to produce new homes. As a result, they are struggling to keep up with the demand for entry-level homes where most inventory is needed, writes Michael Neal, assistant vice president of forecasting and analysis with the National Association of Builders, in an NAHB blog post.

“In the near future, single-family starts may grow at a modest pace,” Neal writes. “The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) was flat over July. Also, permits for single-family construction rose by 0.8 percent over the month.”

Mortgage rates this week

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.68 percent from 4.70 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.11 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.70 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.12 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.80 percent, and is 0.73 percentage points greater than the 52-week low of 3.95 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.30 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 4.34 percent. This week’s rate is 0.34 percentage points higher than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.11 percent from 4.13 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 4.13 percent from 4.14 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage was flat at 4.61 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $517.44 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $518.64 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $745.21 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $746.22 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $484.94 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $485.52 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted July 18, 2018 and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:

Weekly national mortgage survey
Breakdown 30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM
This week’s rate: 4.68% 4.11% 4.13%
Change from last week: -0.02 -0.02 -0.01
Monthly payment: $853.77 $1,229.60 $800.15
Change from last week: -$1.98 -$1.66 -$0.96

The “Bankrate.com National Average,” or “national survey of large lenders,” is conducted weekly. The results of this survey are quoted in our weekly articles and national media outlets. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate.com national survey, our Market Analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. We’ve conducted this survey in the same manner for more than 30 years, and because it’s consistently done the way it is, it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison.