The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate decreased to 3.95% in the week ending May 17, 2019. The 15-year FRM rate also decreased to 3.42%. FRM rates rose significantly in 2018, but have fallen back in recent weeks, currently below a year earlier. The long-term rising trend has briefly stalled as the Federal Reserve (the Fed) drops interest rates as we head into the coming recession, expected in 2020. In response, expect interest rates to remain low throughout 2019.

Rising interest rates discouraged homebuyers and decreased their purchasing power in 2018, causing sales volume and prices to slip going into 2019. Now begun, the downward trajectory for prices and sales volume will continue in 2019, not to recover until after the next recession is over, in 2021-2023.

 

FRM rates are tied to the bond market, tending to move in tandem with the 10-year Treasury Note (T-Note) rate. Bond market investors are feeling discouraged in light of the slowing economy and instability emanating from the federal government. This has led them to accept lower yields in return for the safety of treasuries, which in turn has kept FRM rates down in recent weeks. FRM rates will remain low over the next two-to-three years.

The spread between the 10-year T-Note and 30-year FRM rate is 1.56%, slightly above the historical difference of 1.5%. The higher margins seen through much of 2018-2019 signify that mortgage lenders, uncertain of the market’s future, are padding their risk premiums. However, in May 2019 lenders have tightened their margins somewhat to encourage more mortgage originations as the market continues to slow.

As of April 2019, the average monthly rate on ARMs was 4.08%, far above its low point of 2.49% experienced in May 2013 and barely below average 30-year FRM rates. The use of ARMs to fund the purchase of homes gradually rose during 2018 but has since fallen back. The rise in ARM-use was due to home prices accelerating faster than the rate of pay, exacerbated by rising FRM rates in 2018. This tends to cause wealthier buyers to take on riskier ARMs to extend their purchasing power. However, the reduction in the MID (mortgage interest deduction) has reduced the demand for ARMs since they are the primary source of mortgages for homes priced over $850,000.

The Fed last increased the short-term interest rate in December 2018, pushing up the ARM rate proportionately, making ARMs more costly and less attractive. However, the Fed has signaled they may be done raising rates for this cycle, good news for property owners subject to ARMs.

Updated May 10, 2019. Original copy released March 2012.

Click the link to go directly to a chart, or browse the charts by scrolling below.

1. 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rate, weekly — Chart update 05/17/19
2. 30-year FRM rate, monthly — Chart update 04/26/19
3. 15-year FRM rate — Chart update 05/17/19
4. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate — Chart update 04/26/19
5. 10-year Treasury note rate — Chart update 05/17/19
6. Combined FRM and 10-year Treasury note rates — Chart update 04/26/19
7. 91-day Treasury bill rate — Chart update 05/17/19
8. 3-month Treasury bill — Chart update 05/10/19
9. 6-month Treasury bill — Chart update 05/10/19
10. Treasury Securities average yield — Chart update 05/17/19
11. 12-month Treasury average — Chart update 05/10/19
12. Cost of Funds Index — Chart update 04/19/19
13. London Inter-Bank Offered rate (LIBOR) — Chart update 04/19/19
14. Applicable federal rates — Chart update 04/26/19
15. Private lender section 32 Reg-Z loans — Chart update 08/10/18

Chart update 05/17/19

Current
05/17/19
3.95%

Month ago
04/19/19
4.14%
Year ago
05/18/18
4.48%
The average 30-year FRM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com.

Chart update 04/26/19
Apr 2019
Average
4.09%
Mar 2019
Average
4.24%
Apr 2018
Average
4.32%
 
 
Chart update 05/17/19
Current
05/17/19
3.42%
Month ago
04/19/19
3.52%
Year ago
05/18/18
3.89%
The average 15-year FRM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com.
More information:

 
Chart update 04/26/19
Apr 2019
4.08%
Mar 2019
3.99%
Apr 2018
4.15%
The 5/1 average adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate shows the average rate for the first five years after origination. After the initial five-year period, the ARM rate is adjusted annually based on an index figure, such as a certain Treasury Bill rate (which reflects Federal Reserve rate movements) or the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Beginning January 2016, the average ARM rate in California is provided by Bankrate.com. Prior to January 2016, the average ARM rate is provided by Freddie Mac’s survey of the Western Region of the U.S.
Chart update 05/17/19
Current
05/17/19
2.39%
Month ago
04/19/19
2.56%
Year ago
05/18/18
3.06%
This rate is a leading indicator of the direction of future Freddie Mac rates. The 10-year rate historically runs closer to 4% during a stable money market. The rate is influenced by worldwide demand for the dollar and anticipated future domestic inflation.
 
 

Chart update 04/26/19
Avg 15-Year
Apr 2019
3.50%
Avg 30-Year
Apr 2019
4.09%
Avg 10-Year T-Note
Apr 2019
2.53%
The average 15- and 30-year conventional commitment rates are the rates at which a lender commits to lend mortgage money in the United States-West/California for the duration of the life of each respective mortgage as reported by Freddie Mac. The green line reflects the 10-Year Treasury Note Average, a leading indicator of the direction of future Freddie Mac rates. It is comprised of the level of worldwide demand for the dollar and anticipated future domestic inflation.
More information:

Chart update 05/17/19
Current
04/16/19
2.41%
Month Ago
04/18/18
2.43%
Year Ago
05/17/18
1.89%
This rate determines the minimum interest rate the seller must use in a delayed §1031 transaction and report when not receiving interest on §1031 monies held by a facilitator/accommodator. This rate also sets the amount of the ordinary income the facilitator/accommodator must report.

Chart update 05/10/19
Apr 2019
2.38%
Mar 2018
2.40%
Apr 2018
1.76%
The 3-Month Treasury Bill is the rate managed by the Federal Reserve through the Fed Funds Rate as the base price of borrowing money in the short-term. It is used in determining the yield spread, which predicts the likelihood of a recession one year forward. The posted rate is the monthly average for the listed month. Rates are released with a 1-2 month reporting delay.

Chart update 05/10/19
 Apr 2019
2.39%
Mar 2018
2.44%
Apr 2018
1.93%

The six-month T-Bill rate is one of several indices used by lenders to periodically adjust the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate. The adjusted rate equals the indexed rate (at the time of adjustment or an average of several prior rates) plus the lender’s profit margin. The posted rate is the monthly average for the listed month. Rates are released with a 1-2 month reporting delay.

Chart update 05/17/19
Apr 2019
2.42%
Mar 2019
2.49%
Apr 2018
2.15%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate.The ARM interest rate equals T-Bill yield, plus the lender’s profit margin. The index is an average of T-Bill yields with maturities adjusted to one year.

Chart update 05/10/19
Apr 2019
2.50%
Mar 2019
2.48%
Apr 2018
1.56%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate. This figure is an average of the one-year T-Bill rates for the past 12 months. The ARM interest rate equals the 12-Month Treasury Average yield plus the lender’s profit margin. There is a one-two month lag in data reporting for the 12-Month Treasury Average.

Chart update 04/19/19
Feb 2019
1.17%
Jan 2019
1.13%
Feb 2018
0.82%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders to periodically adjust the interest rate on an ARM note. The ARM interest rate equals Cost of Funds Index, plus the lender’s profit margin. Current index reflects the cost of funds two months’ prior in the United States-West.

Chart update 04/19/19
1 Month
2.48%
6 Month
2.63%
1 Year
2.76%
This index is one of several indexes used by lenders as stated in their ARM note to periodically adjust the note’s interest rate. The ARM interest rate equals the LIBOR rate plus the lender’s profit margin. The rate is set by the banks in London, England.

Chart update 04/26/19
Short (3 years or less)
May 2019
1.80%
Medium (3 to 9 years)
May 2019
1.78%
Long (9+ years)
May 2019
2.06%
These rates determine minimum interest yield reportable on carryback financing. The AFR category is determined by the carryback due date. Rates are for monthly payments, reported for the coming month.

Rate Analysis for Private Lender Section 32 Reg-Z Loans

Data courtesy Federal Reserve

Chart update 08/10/18

Month* 6-Month 1-Year 2-Year 3-Year 5-Year 7-Year
Jul 2018 2.17% 2.39% 2.61% 2.70% 2.78% 2.85%
On junior trust deed loans, a margin of 5 – 8% points is added to the Index Figure (Cost-of-Funds Rate) for the maturity date of a Treasury bill equal in length to the payoff date of the loan to set the Section 32 threshold for term limitations. With this in mind, if the percentage of the total loan amount represented by points and fees is greater than the applicable Federal Securities Rate plus ten percentage points, additional disclosures, limitations and prohibitions are triggered by Regulation Z (Reg-Z) Section 32. [See RPI Form 223-1: Points and Fees Test and Form 223: Supplemental Truth-in-Lending Section 32 Disclosure]
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