Mortgage Rates Today, Jan. 4: Rates, Applications Both Drop

Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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After starting the new year with a slight upward nudge, mortgage rates across the board dipped for 30- and 15-year fixed loans, as well as 5/1 ARMs, on Wednesday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.


Mortgage Rates Today,
Wednesday, January 4

(Change from 1/3/2017)
30-year fixed: 4.36% APR (-0.02)
15-year fixed: 3.77% APR (-0.03)
5/1 ARM: 3.86% APR (-0.01)

Mortgage applications dip at end of 2016

To cap off the final few weeks of 2016, mortgage applications fell by 12% from two weeks earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 30, 2016.

The drop in applications isn’t much of a surprise with the Christmas holiday taken into account, but mortgage application volume saw ups and downs in the weeks leading into the holidays. Mortgage rates, of course, spiked dramatically following the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency on Nov. 8.

The MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, saw big dips in both purchase and refinance application activity. Refinance applications decreased 22% from the previous two weeks, while purchase application volume dropped by 41% for the same time period.

» MOREHow to get the best mortgage rate

Although refinance applications were down, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 52.2% of total applications from 51.8% the previous week, MBA reported. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 5.4% of total applications after seeing recent gains on the heels of rising rates. Now that rates are leveling out, ARM applications are following suit.

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.