Defying the projections of most experts, mortgage rates have remained low throughout 2016 as opposed to gradually rising throughout the year. Not only did rates not increase, but they actually fell even lower and, as The Washington Post reports, like a bad house guest, these low rates may be sticking around for awhile.
The new 30-year mortgage rate outlook from Freddie Mac predicts rates will remain at or below 3.6 percent this year and will hover around 4 percent in 2017. Earlier projections had rates bumping up to 4.5 percent by the end of 2016.
With such low rates, comes a continued increase in mortgage applications, many of which are fueled by refinances. In fact, the refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 64 percent of all applications, which marked the highest level in five months.
Just because rates are so low, however, doesn’t mean obtaining a loan is going to be easy The mortgage credit availability index decreased 1.3 percent to 119.8 in June, a sign that lending standards are tightening.