Mortgage Rates Inch Up For Third Straight Week

Mortgage rates continued to rise incrementally through late July, and August rates appear to be following suit. The Federal Reserve left its benchmark rate static at its July policy meeting, but many experts predict a rate hike in the next several months due to upbeat assessments of the U.S. economy even after Brexit.

Though interest rates are on the rise across the board, they still remain low compared to historic trends. As of August 1, the 30-year fixed-rate average rose slightly to 3.48 percent with an average 0.5 point. The rate was 3.45 percent to close out July.

The rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage is also trending higher, reaching 2.78 percent with an average 0.5 point. The fixed-rate average was 2.75 percent one week ago. However, the rate remains much lower than the 3.17 percent seen one year ago. Jumbo mortgages and 15-year fixed loans continue to mirror three-year historic lows.

The real estate market appears to be benefiting from low average rates across the board, with home sales up slightly in July. Homeowners are reaping rewards, as well. The most recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that a full 61 percent of mortgage loan applications in July were for refinances, as borrowers are taking advantage of the opportunity to secure better terms for the duration of their loans.

More than 125 lenders were surveyed on rate trends in July, and one third believe rates will continue to rise in August, while 50 percent believe the rates will remain largely unchanged heading into fall.

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