There are many ways to get an idea of where mortgage rates are on any given day, but if that day is a Thursday, you’re likely to get an idea from Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey. Websites and news outlets have a decades-old habit of relying on Freddie’s survey for one of their weekly check-ins on mortgage rates.
So what did Freddy say this week? Nothing sensational: The average 30yr fixed rate was almost exactly in line with last week’s levels.
Another way to get an idea of rates (besides reading the next few sentences) would be to actually go out and get quotes from lenders. Those whose applications are in progress can get a better idea than anyone else by opting to lock the rate (a process that goes a long way to filter out any noise from playing mortgage rate ads).
Borrowers who try to lock in a rate today will be the first to tell you they’re seeing higher rates than they did last week — especially when compared to Wednesday and Thursday. Today’s rates have slightly improved from average, but are clearly higher than in the middle of last week.
What’s up with the discrepancy? Freddy’s survey is the average for the whole week. It is also based on the rates entered into the lender’s underwriting system and they are not always the same rates that end up being closed. In addition, those rates may depend on certain upfront costs — a factor that Freddie no longer accounts for with its relatively new method.
Bottom line: The average lender dropped just a hair from yesterday, but remains significantly higher than the middle of last week.