• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

If you own a home, today's bargain-basement mortgage rates may get you thinking about a refi, too.

The latest on mortgage applications

Overall, mortgage applications rose 5.2% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday.

But refinance applications jumped 10%, and the number of new refis was up a stunning 163% compared to the same week a year ago, the trade group says. Refinancings accounted for 60.4% of all mortgage applications last week.

The number of purchase applications — that is, applications for loans to buy homes — slipped 1% last week.

Use this calculator to see how a refinance could cut your monthly mortgage payment:

Stop overpaying for home insurance

Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.

Explore better rates

The impact from mortgage rates

Miniature wooden houses and a red arrow down. The concept of falling interest rates.
Andrii Yalanskyi / Shutterstock
Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the fall of 2016.

"As seen a few times this year, the large drop in [mortgage] rates caused another surge in refinance applications," says Joel Kan, the MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Mortgage rates were flat last week, but still close to lows not seen since the fall of 2016.

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to an average 3.65%, from 3.64% a week earlier, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, which are a popular refinancing option, fell to 3.14% from 3.16%

Current average mortgage rates

Loan Type Interest Rate
30-year fixed-rate mortgage 3.65%
15-year fixed-rate mortgage 3.14%
5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage 3.38%

Source: Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Oct. 3, 2019.

The outlook for mortgages

Why aren't homebuyers pouncing on low mortgage rates as fiercely as homeowners? The Mortgage Bankers Association's Kan says people shopping for houses seem to have commitment issues.

"Despite low rates, the cloudier economic outlook and ongoing market uncertainty may be keeping some potential homebuyers away from the market this fall," he says.

Freddie Mac will release fresh mortgage rates numbers on Thursday. The rates tend to follow the yields on long-term Treasury securities — and those have been all over the place this week.

The benchmark 30-year mortgage rate is likely to stay low — below 4% — through the end of 2019, according to Freddie Mac's latest forecast.

Check out today's best mortgage rates where you live.

Sponsored

Follow These Steps if you Want to Retire Early

Secure your financial future with a tailored plan to maximize investments, navigate taxes, and retire comfortably.

Zoe Financial is an online platform that can match you with a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. The best part? - there is no fee to find an advisor.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman

Former Editor-in-Chief

Doug Whiteman was formerly the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

What to Read Next

It's a lengthy, complicated process, so just keep your eyes on the prize: your new home.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.