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Mortgage Rates Wednesday, March 1: Sharply Higher as Dow Tops 21,000

March 1, 2017
Mortgage Rates, Mortgages
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Thirty-year and 15-year fixed rates, as well as 5/1 ARM rates, are all higher once again today, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders Wednesday morning.

The stock market rallied again at the open this morning, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged over 21,000. The prospects of the Federal Reserve raising short-term interest rates this month seem to be even more solid.

Based on Fed Fund futures prices, investor expectations for a rate hike have soared in recent days. This morning, over 66% of investors were betting on at least a quarter-point interest rate hike at the Fed’s meeting March 15.

Mortgage Rates Today, Wednesday, March 1:

(Change from 2/28)
30-year fixed: 4.36% APR (+0.06)
15-year fixed: 3.74% APR (+0.07)
5/1 ARM: 3.84% APR (+0.02)

Mortgage loan applications rise

There was a bit more loan paperwork making the rounds last week but when it comes to refinances, business is soft. Through Feb. 24, mortgage applications were up nearly 6% from the prior week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

However, the refinance share of loan activity fell to just over 45% of total applications, the lowest volume since November 2008.

» MORE: Calculate your monthly mortgage payment

“Rates declined last week as investors favored U.S. Treasury bonds due mainly to political concerns from abroad,” Joel Kan, MBA economist, told CNBC.

While mortgage rates remain historically favorable, the number of available homes for sale is falling well short of demand. For the real estate industry, that could mean a disappointing spring sales season.

“The biggest impediment to growth in home sales in the months ahead will be the supply of homes for sale,” Jonathan Smoke, chief economist, said in a statement. “The existing home market had 3.6 months of supply in December and January. The only other time in history with that low level of supply was January 2005, which was just before the peak of the housing boom and bubble.”

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

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published annual percentage rate with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. APR 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.