Mortgage rates ease amid economic reports

September 3rd, 2013

U.S. economic data helped push mortgage rates down at the end of August

After spending some time at elevated levels, U.S. mortgage rates dropped during the week ending Aug. 30. According to Bankrate’s national survey of large lenders, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sunk from 4.74 percent to 4.62 percent. Similarly, the average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage hit 3.66 percent, down from 3.75 percent the week prior.

This is a positive shift for the economy, as rates begin a downward slope once again and make mortgages more affordable for homeowners. They are moving right now due to uncertainty over the Federal Reserve’s plans for its stimulus package.

The central bank’s $85 billion bond-buying program had been boosting the market and keeping rates down, so shortly after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke announced the possibility of tapering the program, rates moved back up.

Now, weak economic data and the possibility of a U.S. military strike in Syria are once again helping them sink. Clearly, movement is fairly volatile right now, but analysts expect rates will stay depressed for a while.

“Mortgage rates should ease through mid-September,” Dan Green, a loan officer for a mortgage company in Cincinnati, told Fox Business. “There’s little reason for rates to rise.”