Another week, another glut of news articles claiming mortgage rates are at all-time lows. While no one is intentionally trying to deceive you, the news is deceptive nonetheless.
Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey is at the heart of the issue. The survey is a mainstay of the mortgage industry and the news media. It's been around for decades and is really the only mortgage rate benchmark the industry has. Despite the apparent street cred, their numbers can be hopelessly inaccurate at times.
There are two reasons for the inaccuracy. The first is the survey's methodology. Freddie publishes the survey on Thursday but sends out the questionnaire on Monday. While they accept responses through the middle of the day on Wednesday, most respondents reply when they receive the survey (on Monday).