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Mortgage Rates Jan. 23: Lower; Weighing Trump’s FHA and Future Housing Policies

Jan. 23, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates are all lower Monday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

Mortgage Rates Today,
Monday, Jan. 23

(Change from 1/20)
30-year fixed: 4.41% APR (-0.05)
15-year fixed: 3.80% APR (-0.04)
5/1 ARM: 3.84% APR (-0.02)

How will President Trump’s policies impact housing?

With the stroke of a pen, just minutes after his inauguration, President Donald Trump reversed some long-standing as well as last-minute initiatives of the Obama administration. One of note immediately impacting the housing industry: the reversal of a 0.25% FHA mortgage insurance premium cut announced Jan. 9.

The premium discount, paid by FHA borrowers to protect lenders in the case of a loan default, was to go into effect Jan. 27.

In a letter announcing the action, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Genger Charles said more analysis regarding the premium rate cut was required.

“FHA is committed to ensuring its mortgage insurance programs remain viable and effective in the long term for all parties involved, especially our taxpayers. As such, more analysis and research are deemed necessary to assess future adjustments while also considering potential market conditions in an ever-changing global economy that could impact our efforts,” Charles wrote.

>> MORE: Best lenders for FHA loans

Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan believes it’s nearly impossible to predict how future policy changes made by the new Trump administration will impact the economic expansion — and housing — in 2017.

“Incoming data suggest improving consumer spending, diminished labor market slack and advancements in wages, but until we can more clearly read the political tea leaves, it’s difficult to say whether this late-cycle expansion will continue into its eighth year,” Duncan wrote in an analysis.

Fannie Mae expects mortgage rates to rise gradually in 2017, ultimately reaching a fourth quarter average of 4.3%. According to the analysis: “There is risk that rates could rise faster and higher than forecasted, but the impact on housing could be offset by strengthened income growth.”

“We expect housing to remain resilient and continue its recovery in 2017,” Duncan added, “with affordability standing out as the industry’s greatest obstacle, particularly for first-time homeowners.”

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

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Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @halmbundrick.