Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Dec. 13: Lower as Volatility Continues

Thirty-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates are all lower Tuesday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

This is a volatile time for mortgage rates. Up one day, down the next. The skittish bond market may find some relief following tomorrow’s Federal Reserve short-term interest rate announcement. While a 0.25-percentage-point hike is widely expected, market analysts and bond investors will be more interested in hearing the Fed’s hint of what is coming next.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a news conference tomorrow following the rate announcement, at which time she will release the committee’s economic projections.

Mortgage Rates Today,
Tuesday, Dec. 13

(Change from 12/12)
30-year fixed: 4.35% APR (-0.03)
15-year fixed: 3.68% APR (-0.03)
5/1 ARM: 3.78% APR (-0.01)

A warning from a mortgage rate analyst

Al Bowman watches mortgage rates every day. His company, Mortgage Commentary Services, provides analysis of mortgage rates for lenders across the nation. Noting that 10-year Treasury bond yields and mortgage rates are closely aligned, he’s alerting clients to a troubling sign.

“This week is key for bonds and mortgage rates after the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note yield closed last week at 2.46% and we open this week at 2.49%,” Bowman wrote Monday in an analysis for clients. “I have been warning about this crossroad ever since we broke above 2.25%. If this is a bad week for bonds and the 10-year breaks above 2.50%, there is little to prevent moving into the mid-2.6’s in the immediate future. And since mortgage rates track bond yields, this would equate to higher rates for mortgage shoppers.”

The current spread between 10-year Treasury yields and mortgage rates is just under 2%. For example, 10-year bonds were trading near 2.47% this morning, and 30-year mortgage rates are averaging 4.35%. As Treasury yields move higher, so do mortgage rates.

Bowman’s advice?

“Maintain contact with your mortgage professional if [you’re] still floating an interest rate and closing in the near future,” he says.

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @halmbundrick.

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See the full story at Hal M. Bundrick, CFP