Skip to main content

As Mortgage Lenders Get Faster, Home Buyers Get Cheaper Rates

By Dan Green

The National Association of REALTORS® reports another big drop in U.S. home inventory; an update on today’s mortgage rates for conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, and USDA mortgages; and, an introduction to mortgage rate locks.

Home Inventory Falls Below 32,000 Per State

Two words. Home Supply. Low Rates. Can’t buy. No listings. Open houses. Cash offers. Contingency waiving. Sit back. Pocket listing.

Mortgage shopping. Lock-n-waiting. Spring season. Agreement reaching.

Everybody move. Hopefully! Because, right now, it’s tough to be out there buying a place.

Whether you’re in the north, west, Chicago, or somewhere else, homes for sale are scarce and we can see it in numbers.

New data from the National Association of REALTORS® shows another 8 percent drop in homes listed for sale into March, lowering the number of listed homes below 32,000 per state, split roughly 90/10 between detached homes and condos.

And, because homes are selling so quickly, at the current pace of sales, the entire available stock will be exhausted by mid-July.

That is, unless more sellers decide to list. Which they will. And, the best thing you can to do as a buyer is to get prepped for when that happens with your lender.

Get pre-approved for your upcoming purchase, even if the chance of buying’s remote. Don’t wait until the last minute. Know which houses you can afford, and shop for homes more smartly.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Today’s Mortgage Rates

Conforming, VA, USDA, jumbo, and FHA mortgage rates are down today and drifting lower.

Your actual quote from a lender will depend on your loan size, your credit score, and where you live.

Whether you’re buying a house or refinancing one will make a difference, too, so don’t get too much of your mortgage rate information from a random online source.

Have a real convo with an actual mortgage human and get the mortgage loan that works best for you.

Click to get today’s mortgage rates.

Pending Home Sales Index Climbs Into Spring

If the number 666 is evil, then 25.8069758 is the root of all evil.

And, 45 is the average number of days it’s now taking mortgage lenders to close on a purchase loan, which is two days faster than what it was last month.

And that’s good, because 45 is kind of a magic number when it comes to mortgage rates.

It’s all because of rate locks.

A rate lock is a mortgage lender’s commitment to a borrower to honor a specific combination of interest rate and closing costs, for a specific number of days.

They’re predictions for the future — a guess of what lenders think markets might look like on the day your loan gets delivered. And, because it’s so hard to tell the future anymore, that guesswork takes on additional risk the farther into the future we go.

This is why the reduction in days-to-close is such a big deal to buyers.

Lenders commit to mortgage rates in fifteen-day increments — for thirty days, for forty-five days, for sixty days, and so on. And, rates rise by about an eighth of a percentage point with every extra 15-day window.

So, with lenders now averaging 45 days to close a purchase, buyers can opt for a shorter, 45-day rate lock which means a cheaper rate.

As always, before locking your loan, talk to two or more lenders and shop for your best combination of service and price.

Get A Mortgage Rate Quote

Click To Get Started!

Written by Dan Green

Dan Green is a mortgage lending expert and the founder of Growella. Prior to Growella, Dan was a six-time, top-producing loan officer; and, ranked repeatedly among the top 1% of loan officers nationwide. Dan's home buying expertise has been in print and on TV with The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Forbes, CNBC, and others.

Dan Green Growella Headshot