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Mortgage Rates Monday, March 13: Up Slightly; Borrowers Gain Equity

March 13, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates rose slightly while 15-year fixed mortgage rates today held steady, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage interest rates published by national lenders on Monday morning.


(Change from 3/10)
30-year fixed: 4.54% APR (+0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.92% APR (NC)
5/1 ARM: 3.95% APR (+0.01)

CoreLogic: 1 million borrowers now have positive equity

One million homeowners with a mortgage entered positive-equity territory in 2016, according to a new report from CoreLogic. As a result, fewer mortgage borrowers were underwater on their loans in 2016 as buyer demand helped drive home-price growth in many markets across the country.

Currently, 48 million homes (93.8%) have positive equity,  a substantial shift from the end of 2009 when negative equity crested at 26%, according to CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report. “Negative equity,” also known as being “upside down” or “underwater” in a mortgage, means a borrower owes more on his or her home loan than the property is worth.

In 2016, U.S. homeowners’ home equity increased 11.7% to $783 billion in 2016, CoreLogic found. During the last quarter of the year, negative-equity households dropped by 25% year over year to 3.17 million from 4.23 million.

» MORE: How much home can you afford?

“Average home equity rose by $13,700 for U.S. homeowners during 2016,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a press release. “The equity build-up has been supported by home-price growth and pay down of principal.” He added that home prices increased 6.3% over the year ending December 2016, and that a quarter of all mortgage loans have terms of 20 years or less, which allows homeowners to pay their home-loan debt and gain equity much more quickly than on 30-year loans.

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.

Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @debbie_kearns.