We are living in historic times. Today, September 26, 2012, we are seeing positive effects on mortgage interest rates from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke’s announcement two weeks ago regarding the central bank’s open-ended mortgage bond-buying program and pledge to hold interest rates at super-low levels into 2015. Rates are currently at historic all-time lows. 30 year fixed rate mortgages are in the 3.0%-3.125% range. 15 year fixed rate mortgages are in the 2.5%-2.625% range. This is definitely an opportune time to buy or refinance.
Are rates going to stay at this level or lower for the next several years? The Fed says yes, but there are many factors outside of Federal Reserve Board control including war, natural disasters, presidential elections, worldwide economics, etc., that can have short-term and/or long-term effects on rates. If we could see into the future and know the definitive answer to questions such as these, we’d all be multimillionaires with no need to work. With that said, my view is that rates will stay near historic lows for a while, but that’s really just a guess. Time will tell if I’m correct. Financial experts tend to be all over the board with their forecasts, so if you plan on getting a mortgage or refinancing, I’d recommend keeping a close eye on rates and getting the buying or refinance process started sooner than later.
Remember, mortgage interest rates can, and often do change daily. If you’re applying for a loan, whether it’s for purchase or refinance, you’re not guaranteed a particular rate until you’re “locked in” by your lender at some point in the process with that day’s published rate. Your personal financial picture, the property being financed, the type of loan and your credit rating are also factors in your final interest rate outcome. Your lender can fill you in on this process and your role in selecting the best available rate. Click on “Links of Interest” in the Menu Bar above and page down to the “Mortgage Interest Rates” links to get current mortgage interest rates (updated daily) from Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and a couple of local lenders. If you’re looking for more information on refinancing, scroll down this page to the September 12th post, “Does It Make Sense To Refinance My Home At Today’s Interest Rates?”, or click on the post title under All Posts by Title In Order of Publication on the right side of this page.