Mortgage Loan Rates For Thursday December 20, 2012

It wouldn’t be quite accurate to call the last full week before next week’s abbreviated trading a “rollercoaster ride.” But month-long highs the rates hit on Tuesday, followed by better performance on Wednesday, created the expectation (for some) that Thursday might see the pendulum swing back the other way. So when Thursday mortgage loan rates stayed more or less the same as on Wednesday, some finance writers labeled the market performance as “flat” rather than “consistent with yesterday’s rates.”

There is some rate variance between lenders as end-of-year procedures kick in; the next two weeks will see abbreviated trading days and holiday down time, so rates may shift up and down in response to these factors based on individual lender policies even if there isn’t any noteworthy fiscal cliff reportage or other news that might push market trends.

Some reports say fiscal cliff uncertainty could, in the absence of other factors, create some stagnation in the rates as the wait-and-see attitude prevails; that phrase has been repeated quite a bit as of late for obvious reasons. A fiscal cliff resolution (or a lack of one) is what many are holding their collective breath for. Until the mystery is over, mortgage market reports might begin sounding a bit like a broken record. As in, “some banks offered higher mortgage rates, others offered lower rates” etc. etc.

And, in that vein, the best-execution rate for conventional mortgage loans (30-year fixed) is at 3.375%. Sound familiar?

Some reporters are urging borrowers not to wait and hope for more advantageous rates. It’s a risky business doing so, according to that thinking, because there’s just as much of a risk for higher rates at the end of the year. Could going over the fiscal cliff drive rates lower? Could an eleventh-hour back room deal be in the offing? How badly do the politicians want to debate these issues over the holiday break? Or are they simply getting all the political theater they can from the disagreement before the deadline approaches?

Here are the mortgage loan rates for Thursday December 20, 2012. These are best-execution rates, your own experience may vary depending on the lender and your financial qualifications.

30-year fixed rate conventional mortgages: 3.375%
FHA & VA mortgage rates: 3.25% (This mortgage loan rate can vary more between lenders offering VA and FHA loans than for conventional mortgages.)
15-year fixed rate mortgages:  2.875% - 2.75%
5-year adjustable rate mortgages: 2.625-3.25% (based on the lender.)

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