What Time Of Year Are Mortgage Rates Typically in Their Lowest?

Historically, mortgage rates proceed very slowly and the total amount of change throughout the course of this year will be modest. It may be possible to get a homeowner to save a bit on the mortgage for refinance or purchase by getting the mortgage through a specific time of the year.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Freddie Mac provide historic mortgage rates in their websites. HUD supplies the monthly fee for FHA mortgages starting in October 1991 and the Freddie Mac information goes back to 1971. This information could be examined for yearly and seasonal speed trends.


The monthly changes in mortgage rates are normally rather tiny. Analysis of nearly 20 years of FHA speed data demonstrates that in most years the mortgage rate affected by less than one percent. The typical difference between the high and low monthly premiums is 0.64 percent over the course of a year. The most significant rate swing in one year is 1.20 percent.

Time Frame

When the monthly rates are averaged and compared to the typical over the years no big seasonal pattern emerges. These calculations involve averaging each of the January rates and comparing them for the total average of the yearly rates. The calculation is repeated for all those months. The results reveal a difference of less than a tenth of a percentage from the calendar month averages. That said, the month with the lowest average mortgage rate, according to the FHA statistics, is April. May and August were the second smallest, just a hundredth of a percentage greater than the April average.


Mathematical analysis of historic mortgage rate information reveals no seasonal trends that could have a significant impact in a mortgage rate. Monthly averages differ by less the 15 hundredths of a percentage. On a $300,000 mortgage, this difference translates into a $30 difference on a payment near to $2,000.


The trend in mortgage rates is likely more important than seasonality. If rates are decreasing, it may pay to wait to obtain a mortgage. In a rising rate environment, lock in a rate as soon as possible. The Mortgage Bankers Association supplies widely reported news releases on weekly mortgage rates. Other options for finding better rates are to look at rate buy-downs and hybrid goods like 5/1 and 7/1 ARM loans.

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