Mortgage Rates Today, Jan. 5: Slight Dip; Uneven Housing Recovery

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Good news: 30- and 15-year fixed mortgage rates both dropped by two basis points while 5/1 ARMs nudged up slightly on Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.


Mortgage Rates Today,
Thursday, January 5

(Change from 1/4/2017)
30-year fixed: 4.34% APR (-0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.75% APR (-0.02)
5/1 ARM: 3.87% APR (+0.01)

Zillow: Gaps in housing’s recovery leaving some groups behind

Although the U.S. housing market has made great strides toward recovery in recent years, there’s growing evidence that not everyone is reaping the rewards, according to Zillow research.

In fact, millennials, black mortgage applicants and low-income earners are among those struggling the most to get a decent foothold in the housing market. This disparity along racial, socio-economic and generational lines will be at the forefront of discussion at an economic forum Zillow is hosting on Jan. 11 in Washington, D.C.

Some of Zillow’s data, taken from its recent news release, show:

  • Since 2012, the share of younger millennials (18-25) living at home has decreased from 55.5% to 54.2%, while the share of older millennials — those 26-34 who were impacted by the recession just out of college — has increased from 12.9% to 14.5%.
  • Black mortgage applicants are denied home loans at a much higher rate than applicants of other races. Although the denial rate for black applicants has decreased in recent years, their conventional loan applications are still denied at more than twice the rate of those submitted by white applicants.
  • Over the past two decades, home values in socially mobile metro areas have soared, making it difficult for low-income earners to afford living in those cities.
  • Nationwide, the bottom third income earners spend twice as much of their paychecks on mortgage payments than the top third. In some expensive markets, that same group has to spend more than half of their income to afford a mortgage on the cheapest homes available.

» MORE: How much house can I afford?

“Our research on housing has unlocked issues that are closely linked to broader social and economic problems in the U.S. — such as poor access to credit, weak income growth, and social mobility,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, in the news release.

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.