Mortgage rates remain unstable midway through March, says Bankrate

Mortgage rates remained stable for the week, according to Bankrate Mortgage rates had an unstable week as the threat of increased volatility loomed in the market, perhaps leading some homeowners looking to consolidate debt through mortgage refinancing to hold off for the time being.

According to Bankrate’s latest weekly mortgage survey for the week ending March 17, the average interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages showed slight improvements as it decreased 0.01 percentage points to 5.07 percent. One week earlier, the rate had undergone a 0.04 percentage point drop.

“While the Federal Reserve is maintaining the pledge to keep short-term interest rates “exceptionally low” for “an extended period,” this doesn’t necessarily dictate what happens with fixed mortgage rates,” the weekly report read, before adding that the ending of the Fed’s program of buying mortgage-backed securities this month would have a more profound effect on rates.

“With the Fed no longer serving as the dominant buyer of mortgage securities, the days of low volatility appear numbered,” it added.

The average rate for 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages had a similar week, decreasing 0.01 percentage points to 4.46 percent. While not a large decline, it was enough to offset the 0.01 percentage point increase seen one week earlier.

Fifteen-year FRMs had the toughest week of all mortgage types as its average rate increased by 0.02 percentage points to 4.45 percent. The week prior had been much better for the mortgage type, as its average rate had seen a 0.03 percentage point decrease.