Decoding High Mortgage Rates
The Clarkston Mortgage Team,  powered by Platinum One Lending
The Clarkston Mortgage Team, powered by Platinum One Lending
Published on August 21, 2023
Decoding High Mortgage Rates

Decoding High Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates have recently made headlines, reaching the highest levels in over two decades. Some reports quote a rate of 7.09% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, while others point to figures over 7.5%. Surprisingly, both figures are correct, and the reasons behind these seemingly conflicting rates are more intricate than they appear.

The Nuances of Mortgage Rate Quotes

When most people talk about mortgage rates, they’re referencing the “note rate”. But this doesn’t capture the complete picture. While the note rate defines the interest amount of each mortgage payment, it doesn't encompass the entirety of the interest a borrower might pay.

For example, many mortgages have closing costs termed “prepaid finance charges” - essentially, interest paid upfront. But, situations vary. What if the lender covers the closing costs? Or a builder provides a closing cost credit? No matter the source, the same sum will eventually be paid.

Decoding the Rate Differences

The key difference lies in the interplay between the mortgage rate and who foots the bill for upfront costs. A higher rate could mean the lender covers more of your upfront expenses. Therefore, a rate of 7.09% might be equivalent to a 7.5% rate if one incorporates upfront fees and the other doesn't.

The Changing Landscape of Mortgage Rates

In a stable rate landscape, there’s typically a straightforward relationship between rising rates and a lender’s capacity to bear more upfront costs. However, the current environment is far from steady. In recent times, a higher note rate might even result in a REDUCTION in the upfront costs a lender is willing to cover.

To delve into the specifics: the value of a mortgage loan can increase with a higher interest rate because more interest accumulates over its lifespan. For instance, a $400k loan at 7.5% might be worth roughly $5000 more than an identical loan at 7.0%. This could mean that a lender would cover $5000 of your initial costs at a 7.5% rate, or offer a 7.0% rate if you cater to your $5000 in fees.

But there’s a catch. For the 7.5% rate to remain valuable, the mortgage must persist long enough for the added interest to accumulate. If rates drop swiftly and you refinance, the lender won’t gain the expected interest, rendering their upfront cost coverage moot.

Current Trends and Their Implications

Nowadays, mortgages often come with higher upfront costs. Many of these charges, set by institutions like Fannie and Freddie, are inescapable. Therefore, in some situations, lenders can’t offer a higher rate with diminished closing costs.

The Takeaway

Historically, lenders could provide a higher rate to reduce your closing costs. However, in today’s volatile market, there might be no room for exceedingly high rates. Consequently, borrowers might have to bear heftier closing costs than anticipated.

While some parties, like realtors or builders, might assist in offsetting these costs, the mortgage lender often won’t, unless the mortgage market stabilizes.

As we navigate these unprecedented times, understanding the evolving dynamics of the mortgage world becomes crucial. Stay tuned for further insights as we discuss future rate trends and the road to market equilibrium.

The Clarkston Mortgage Team,  powered by Platinum One Lending
The Clarkston Mortgage Team, powered by Platinum One Lending Highland, MI
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