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Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Oct. 20: Down Slightly; New Housing Permits on the Rise

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Thirty-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5/1 ARM loan rates saw subtle decreases across the board on Thursday, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published by national lenders this morning.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage moved a solid five basis points [0.05%] to 3.52% while the 10-year Treasury yield remained relatively flat,” Sean Becketti, chief economist for Freddie Mac, said in a newsrelease regarding this week’s average rates. “This is the first week in over four months that rates have risen above 3.50%. This month, mortgage rates seem to be catching up to Treasury yields and returning to pre-Brexit levels.”

Mortgage Rates Today,
Thursday, Oct. 20

(Change from 10/19)
30-year fixed: 3.70% APR (-0.03)
15-year fixed: 3.10% APR (-0.02)
5/1 ARM: 3.59% APR (-0.01)

September new construction report hints at possible growth

In a news release on Wednesday, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com, said that a September decrease in housing starts — when construction on a new home begins — isn’t necessarily cause to worry. An increase in permits last month indicates growth in the near future.

“The seasonally adjusted rate of permitting in September was up 6 percent over the rate in August,” Smoke said. “That blew through analysts’ expectations of a 2 percent increase. Unlike with starts, that monthly change was statistically significant.” The seasonally adjusted rate ofstarts was down 12 percent compared to August.

Smoke said that last month’sseasonally adjusted rate of permits was the highest for a September since 2007.

“What we are seeing now in starts is the result of a troubling negative trend in permits that started last December and has been especially significant in multifamily. September was the first month this year where we’ve seen a positive increase in the pace of multifamily permits.”

If new construction increases in the coming months, that would mean higher inventories in homes for sale and units for rent, which can lower home costs and rental prices.

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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 offeredby a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providingthe most accurate view of the costsa borrower might pay.

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Michael Burge is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:mburge@nerdwallet.com.

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Thursday, Oct. 20: Down Slightly; New Housing Permits on the Rise originally appeared on NerdWallet.