The coronavirus pandemic hit Washington state hard early on, rattling real estate markets. Low interest rates and the possibility of finding a bargain should attract homebuyers to the Evergreen state in 2020.
Current Washington Mortgage Rates
Compare today’s average mortgage rates in the state of Washington, based on an aggregated pool of rates from multiple sources.
|Product||Rate||Rate Last Week|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||3.080%||3.110%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||2.620%||2.600%|
|5/1 ARM Rate||3.250%||3.250%|
|30-Year Jumbo Mortgage Rate||3.160%||3.160%|
|30-Year Fixed Refinance Rate||3.330%||3.240%|
Rates data based on Kennewick, Washington as of 10/23/2020
Mortgage Rates Trends
In this graph:
On , the APR was for the 30-year fixed rate, for the 15-year fixed rate, and for the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rate. These rates are updated almost every day based on Bankrate’s national survey of mortgage lenders. Toggle between the three rates on the graph and compare today’s rates to what they looked like in the past days.
Note: Not sure how much house you can afford? Use our mortgage calculator to find out.
Shop and compare the best mortgage rates in Washington. Interest.com regularly surveys various sources to bring you current national average mortgage rates and terms.
Hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Washington state saw a staggering 43.8% drop in new listings over the same time last year. However, the market has already started to rebound, and the crisis has yet to have a major impact on the sales price of a single-family home in Seattle. With interest rates falling, prospective investors should keep a close eye on developments in the Evergreen State as the recession wears on.
Getting a mortgage in Washington
The main hurdles in purchasing a home in Washington State are pretty much the same as those in every desirable real estate market — high cost, and in prime areas like Seattle, low inventory.
These factors notwithstanding, the home loan process in this state is relatively simple. Washington has programs to make the initial down payment affordable for qualified buyers, and this state was one the first in the nation to implement “buyer protection” legislation, ensuring problems with a home are disclosed to the buyer before they make a commitment. Washington also offers streamlined refinances, which let homeowners lower their interest rate without incurring thousands of dollars in closing costs.
- Median home price: $311,700
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 3.79%
- Media monthly mortgage cost: $1,826
- Homeownership rate: 62.7%
Washington state mortgage rate trends
Back in 2018, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered at a high of just under 4.86% before steadily decreasing over the next two years. Along with the rest of the country, Washington state’s mortgage rates were trending lower even before the coronavirus rattled U.S. markets.
Directly following the market plunge in March 2020, there was a period of intense volatility. Despite the Federal Reserve rate cut, mortgage rates briefly increased, which was contrary to expectations, and they surged to nearly meet those 2018 levels. However, the market has stabilized, and mortgage rates in Washington state continue to fall toward historic lows.
Washington state current mortgage rates
The current rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.10% as of Aug. 7, 2020. A 30-year fixed jumbo loan is 3.15%. If you’re comfortable with a higher payment, 15-year fixed loans are currently 2.61%, which can help you save money on interest over the years. A 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is 3.44%.
If you’re planning to refinance your existing home mortgage, rates are trending still lower, allowing you to decrease your monthly payments. The 30-year fixed-rate refinance is currently 3.26%.
Most and least expensive places to live in Washington
Washington State, located on the Canadian border, has millions of acres of forest wilderness, rugged shorelines and a powerful economy. The prime real estate market surrounds Seattle and its suburbs. There are no incredible deals to be had anywhere in the state — the median home price is well above the national average — but the most affordable counties are all east of the Rockies and far from the Pacific Coast.
5 most expensive
- King County —This wealthy county comprises the eastern suburbs of Seattle. It has excellent public schools and access to culture and nightlife.
- San Juan County — San Juan County is a great place to raise a family, with good schools and employment opportunities.
- Kitsap County — On the western edge of Seattle’s suburbs, Kitsap County has beautiful views, access to the Sound and a very good public school system.
- Snohomish County— Snohomish County, located northeast of Seattle, is home to a number of young professionals. It has better than average schools and a lot of diversity.
- Thurston County— Located south of Tacoma and Seattle, Thurston County has good public schools and a thriving nightlife scene.
5 least expensive
- Lincoln County — Just west of Spokane, this rural county has better than average public schools and employment opportunities.
- Adams County — West of Pullman and north of Walla Walla, Adams is an agricultural community with better than average job prospects and strong diversity.
- Okanogan County — This north-central Washington county, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is a good place to raise a family.
- Ferry County— Located in the Kettle River Range in eastern Washington, Ferry County has good job opportunities and most residents own their own homes.
- Stevens County— Stevens County lies northwest of Spokane, close to the Idaho border. It has good public schools and employment opportunities.
Washington state mortgage resources and intricacies
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC) provides down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers, veterans and disabled individuals. Qualified applicants cannot exceed a household income of $145,000 and may receive up to 4% of the total loan amount when they apply for a conventional mortgage (5% for an HFA Preferred loan).
While closing costs in Washington depend on a number of factors, they average between 1% to 3% of the property’s purchase price. They may be negotiable with the seller as part of the contract arrangement.
If you’re looking to refinance your existing loan in Washington, there are two options. You can either restructure your home loan so it has a more favorable interest rate, or you can opt for a “cash-out” refinance, where you tap into the equity accrued in the house thanks to a combination of your monthly loan payments and rising property values.
In addition, many Washington homeowners are able to do “streamline” refinancing, which allows you to restructure the rate without going through the full loan process again, making the process simpler and less expensive.
The final word
Washington State is a place of great natural beauty, and until the coronavirus clipped its wings, the economy in this state was booming. As a result, home sale prices had soared in recent years, making it hard for many homebuyers to snag a good deal. However, the recessionary climate, combined with low trending interest rates, may make the dream of affording a house in the Evergreen State a reality.