Benchmark mortgage rate edges down as bond markets stabilize

3 min read

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 3.74 percent from 3.75 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders.

A year ago, the 30-year was 4.29 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.56 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.62 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.36 percent, and is 0.18 percentage points greater than the 52-week low of 3.56 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.29 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.93 percent. This week’s rate is 0.19 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.09 percent from 3.06 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.84 percent from 3.64 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage was flat at 3.92 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $462.55 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $463.12 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $694.92 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $693.47 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $468.24 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, up from $456.90 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted April 1, 2020 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: 3.74% 3.09% 3.84%
Change from last week: -0.01 +0.03 +0.20
Monthly payment: $763.20 $1,146.62 $772.59
Change from last week: -$0.94 +$2.39 +$18.71

Mortgage rates have been volatile, but they are stabilizing, according to Bankrate’s national survey. Meanwhile, the 10-year Treasury has plunged back below 1 percent, to 0.577  percent on April 1, which means fixed-rate mortgages may also trend down in the days to come.

Where mortgage rates are headed

In the week ahead (April 1-7), none of the experts predict that rates will rise, 78 percent of the experts predict a drop in rates and 22 percent predict that rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points). Calculate your monthly payment using Bankrate’s mortgage calculator.

It’s rare that there’s a consensus on mortgage rates for the coming week, but none of our experts see them rising.

“Mortgage rates for most lenders are much higher than would be indicated by the yields on the 10-year Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. Lenders are dealing with multiple issues at this point,” said Michael Becker, branch manager, Sierra Pacific Mortgage, White Marsh, Maryland.

“Capacity to handle the volume of loan applications; liquidity constraints brought about by margin calls largely as a result of the Fed buying mortgage-backed securities; and, most importantly, uncertainty in regards to the potential forbearance of mortgage payments and the damage that is doing to the value of mortgage servicing rights. In this environment, it’s hard to predict the direction of mortgage rates as there are wild swings day to day and from lender to lender. My hope is that uncertainty wanes and the mortgage market settles down and we will see lower rates in the coming week.”

For homebuyers and refinancers, there’s no hurry

Rate watchers want to know if this is the time to jump on low mortgage rates or if they should wait a little longer in hopes of getting even deeper discounts on loans. It’s a good bet rates will trend lower or at least at these low levels for many weeks and possibly months to come.

Bankrate polls experts each week on the direction of mortgage rates.

Keep in mind that many lenders have raised their posted rates to discourage inquiries because they are so busy. It’s important to call the lender to find out if they can do better than a rate you see online; oftentimes they can.

There is also the possibility that the spread between the Treasury yields and mortgage rates will tighten, which will help drive rates lower. But with the federal Reserve’s move to intervene in the mortgage-backed securities market, anyone who wants a mortgage this spring should be able to snag a super-low rate.