Mortgage Rates Today, Aug. 31: Tiny Dip, Distressed Sales Drop

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Mortgage Rates Today, Aug. 31: Tiny Dip, Distressed Sales Drop

Thirty-year mortgage rates dipped minimally on Wednesday, while 15-year and 5/1 ARM loan rates remained steady, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

The small variations in rates so far this week means things are staying steady and on course. It looks like those bean counters at the banks are still on vacation as rates refuse to budge much and stay well below the 4% mark, which remains good news for new homebuyers and current homeowners alike.

Distressed-property sales on the decline

In a positive sign for the housing market, distressed-property sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 8.4% of total home sales nationally in May 2016, down 2.1 percentage points from May 2015 and down 1 percentage point from April 2016, according to CoreLogic.

CoreLogic reported that foreclosure sales accounted for 5.4% and short sales comprised 3% of total home sales in May 2016. Even more striking is that bank-owned sales were 1.7 percentage points below the May 2015 share — and the lowest for May since 2007, when the housing crisis hit.

At its peak in January 2009, distressed-property sales accounted for a 32.4% of all sales, with foreclosures alone representing 27.9%, CoreLogic found. All but eight states had fewer distressed sales year over year in May. Maryland had the largest share of distressed sales of any state at 19.4%, but North Dakota had the smallest share at 2.5%.

Foreclosures and short sales typically sell for much less than the properties are worth, which drags down home values and means homeowners likely couldn’t afford their payments. The continued drop in distressed sales is good news for neighborhoods and communities as a whole, and creates less chaos in the overall housing market.

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Mortgage Rates: Aug. 31, 2016

(Change from 8/30)

30-year fixed: 3.63% APR (-0.01)

15-year fixed: 3.06% APR (NC)

5/1 ARM: 3.52% APR (NC)

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

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate 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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Deborah Kearns is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: dkearns@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @debbie_kearns.