Mortgage Rates Today, Friday, Dec. 16: Higher Again; Fewer Negative Equity Homeowners

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year and 15-year fixed rates rose again, while 5/1 ARM rates dropped a notch Friday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

Lenders were still fine-tuning their pricing today, in light of the Federal Reserve’s hike in short-term interest rates Wednesday.


Mortgage Rates Today,
Friday, Dec. 16

(Change from 12/15)
30-year fixed: 4.54% APR (+0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.94% APR (+0.06)
5/1 ARM: 3.90% APR (-0.01)

Fewer underwater homeowners a sign of the housing recovery

Homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth are said to be “underwater,” or facing negative equity. But that number has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 2012, according to a Zillow report.

“As the housing market recovers and home values rise, the number of homeowners underwater on their mortgages continues to drop,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, said in a release. “In addition to the individual homeowners who are underwater, negative equity affects the housing market as a whole, so this is good news not only for these owners, who are now able to either sell their home or at least regain some financial stability, but also for buyers who may find more options now.”

» MORE: The pros and cons of home equity lines of credit

The Zillow Negative Equity Report found that 11% of homeowners were underwater in the third quarter of 2016. That’s down from 15.7% in the first quarter of 2012.

Of the metros included in the research, Chicago and Las Vegas had the highest levels of negative equity. San Jose; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; Denver and Dallas had the lowest levels of underwater homeowners.


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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Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: hal@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @halmbundrick.