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Mortgage rates watched closely ahead of Fed meeting

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 @ 14:11 PM

Mortgage rates crept up last week on the heels of news that the U.S. economy saw better than anticipated growth last quarter. A survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders showed that slightly elevated benchmark rates but still placed them near historic lows.

Bond market activity, which is the yardstick for mortgage rates, indicated that an upswing was likely after rates have hovered near all-time lows since the early summer. Economic expansion, both at home and abroad, particularly in Great Britain and Japan, influenced U.S. bond trading.

The Federal Reserve is meeting this week to consider raising short-term interest rates for the first time since last December. While the Fed does not have a direct impact on mortgage rates, it can influence their direction. While the probability of a November rate hike is low, fed funds futures imply there's a 78 percent change of a December increase.

Future homebuyers may consider locking in interest rates now while they remain at such low levels. Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed rates are averaging 3.50 percent while the 15-year rate is near 2.75 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.