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Insights from LendingTree's Chief Economist

The big economic news was that the Federal Reserve raised the benchmark overnight Fed Funds Rate by 25 bps to a range of 1.50-1.75% on March 21st. While this rate is important, it does not directly impact mortgage rates which are more closely related to longer-term interest rates such as the 10-year treasury. These longer rates were on a sustained upward trend since September 2017, but have recently stabilized. As a result, mortgage rates have not had a significant upward move in March.

Looking forward, the tax plan and spending plans recently passed by Congress will add to the government deficit in 2018. When this happens, the government has to borrow more which can often lead to higher interest rates. Thus, the stability in interest rates seen in March could prove to be short-lived. In addition to the potential increase in mortgage rates driven by the deficit, there are some risks on the other side as well. The recent rumblings about trade wars could lead to lower interest rates if the impact on the economy or investors risk appetite is negative. If foreign buyers decide to purchase less US government bonds in retaliation, it could lead to higher rates. Clearly, there are many moving parts here. For mortgage borrowers, it’s best not to try and game out these scenarios and lock in their mortgage rate when they are ready to complete a transaction.

LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker

There are many reasons why consumers spend so little time shopping for mortgages, however, at LendingTree we believe one is that the mortgage industry has not done a great job of informing consumers on the amount of savings available and the ease with which savings can be accessed.

That is why we introduced the LendingTree Mortgage Savings Tracker. Built on top of our proprietary Mortgage Rate Competition Index, the Mortgage Savings Tracker brings a new transparency to mortgage shopping by highlighting the significant savings that are available to potential borrowers for both purchase mortgages and refinancing. For more details on the index, follow the link below.

Mortgage Rate Competition Index

Monthly Mortgage Offer Reports

Released each month, The LendingTree Mortgage Offers Report contains data from actual loan terms offered to borrowers on by lenders. Stay up to date with the most recent LendingTree Mortgage Offers Reports below:

March 2018 Report
February 2018 Report
January 2018 Report
December 2017 Report
November 2017 Report
October 2017 Report

Mortgage rates by state

Mortgage rates can vary a lot between lenders on any given day. So, if you only get one mortgage quote, you won’t have any idea if there’s a better deal out there. That’s why the best way to get a mortgage rate it to request quotes from multiple lenders and compare interest rates, loan terms and closing costs. It puts you on in charge and keeps the banks competing to get you the best rate possible. Remember, even .1 percent can amount to thousands of dollars over the course of a loan. Make sure you shop around!

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