The latest mortgage rates in America have shown continuous growth over the past month, causing the largest spike seen in several years. This week, rates for a standard 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose from 3.73 percent to 4.01 percent, according to a survey of the largest lenders.
For many Americans, the growing rate signals a time to lock themselves into current rates, before levels rise even further. Elizabeth Rose, an expert in the industry, said that potential homebuyers should not gamble on what mortgage rates might be in future. "Let's face it, rates are still unbelievably awesome," she said, "So lock your rate and be happy with it."
Ms. Rose is right about rates being lower than average. For example, until May 2010, it was unheard of to be able to access a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a rate below 5 percent. Approximately two decades ago, the average rates were set at 7.5 percent, while thirty years ago, homebuyers could expect to see rates of 10 percent.
For first-time buyers, taking advantage of current rates could still secure them a good deal, if you consider historical figures. Meanwhile, although rapid rate gains often bring a halt to mortgage refinancing, those with high-rate mortgages could still take advantage of refinancing to a lower rate. Ms. Rose says, "If I was holding a mortgage anything over 6 percent, I would be asking someone to do the analysis for me to see what's my break-even point, how much money could I save."