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Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Dec. 15: Surging Following Fed Hike

Dec. 15, 2016
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM rates are all higher Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

The U.S. Federal Reserve boosted short-term interest rates by one quarter of a percentage point (0.25) Wednesday, and, on average, lenders priced in well more than half of that hike into 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgage rates overnight.

Mortgage Rates Today,
Thursday, Dec. 15

(Change from 12/14)
30-year fixed: 4.52% APR (+0.17)
15-year fixed: 3.88% APR (+0.17)
5/1 ARM: 3.91% APR (+0.11)

Experts weigh in after Fed rate hike

Following the Fed rate hike, stocks fell, the bond market sold off and the experts weighed in.

“[The] Fed announcement is going to have the greatest impact on first-time homebuyers as they consider their monthly payment budgets,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist, said in a statement. “Rates will likely stay the same until about March, so buyers considering a purchase in 2017 may want to consider getting into the market now.”

Smoke said with the Fed indicating it will raise rates at least three times next year, “mortgage rates will likely move proportionately in anticipation of those increases, as clear data emerges about stronger economic growth and inflation.”

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

Meanwhile, Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae, said the Fed’s action is based on the possible shifts in government policy related to the incoming Trump administration.

“Much of the upbeat financial data, including the jumps in interest rates, the dollar and equity prices, are largely due to the anticipation of stronger economic growth from suggested fiscal stimulus and deregulation from the new administration and Congress,” Duncan said in a statement. However, he added that the priorities of the president and the willingness of Congress to comply are always hard to predict.

“The Fed will likely be in wait-and-see mode given this substantial policy uncertainty, and we view this prudency a virtue,” Duncan added.

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: [email protected]. Twitter: @halmbundrick.