Overview of Arkansas Mortgages
Home to rugged parkland, beautiful trails and presidential exhibits, Arkansas is mid-range in terms of size and population. If you’re in the market for a home in Arkansas, you can expect mortgage rates roughly in line with national trends. Arkansas counties’ conforming loan limits and FHA loan limits are average as well.
|30 year fixed||3.16%||3.16%||0.00|
|15 year fixed||2.44%||2.58%||-0.15|
|30 yr fixed mtg refi||3.21%||3.23%||-0.02|
|15 yr fixed mtg refi||2.56%||2.68%||-0.11|
|7/1 ARM refi||3.63%||3.63%||0.00|
|15 yr jumbo fixed mtg refi||3.25%||3.25%||0.00|
National Mortgage Rates
Historical Mortgage Rates in Arkansas
Arkansas Mortgage Rates Quick Facts
- Median Home Value: $136,200 (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Loan Funding Rate: 51.9% (CFPB)
- Homeownership Rate: 65.3% (St. Louis Fed)
- Median Monthly Homeownership Costs: $1,089 (U.S. Census Bureau)
Historically, mortgage rates in Arkansas are right in line with nationwide averages.
A financial advisor in Arkansas can help you plan for the homebuying process. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including tax, retirement and estate planning, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
Arkansas Historic Mortgage Rates*
|Year||Arkansas Rate||U.S. Rate|
*The FHFA stopped reporting new data in 2018.
Arkansas Mortgages Overview
Homes in Arkansas sell for cheaper than average compared to the rest of the country. Arkansas’ median home value is $136,200, which is significantly below the nation’s median of $240,500.
Every county in the state has a standard conforming loan limit of $548,250 and the baseline FHA limit of $356,362. That data reflects the general affordability of purchasing a mortgage in Arkansas as compared to the rest of the nation. So whether you’re home shopping in Little Rock or building an oasis in Ozark country, your loan limit will remain the same.
Conforming and FHA Loan Limits by County
|County||Conforming Limit||FHA Limit|
Arkansas is a "caveat emptor," or buyer beware, state. In this type of environment, responsibility falls heavily on the buyer to uncover any defects with the property prior to purchasing. For states where this is the case, property inspections – while not mandatory – are a crucial step in the purchase process. Purchasing a home sans inspection generally means you are accepting the property as-is. Sellers should also consider disclosing certain conditions, as real estate agents may still be required to do so.
30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates in Arkansas
A fixed-rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate remains the same for the duration of the loan. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular and tends to be a solid option for a buyer who plans to stay in their home for a long time. You can also consider a 15-year mortgage which will have lower interest as compared to a 30-year mortgage but higher monthly payments.
The average Arkansas rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.64% (Zillow, Jan. 2021).
Arkansas Jumbo Loan Rates
Due to the affordability of homes in Arkansas, there are less jumbo loan mortgages out there. These are loans that exceed the $548,250 conforming loan limit that exists in every Arkansas county. If you are considering a jumbo loan for your mortgage, be aware that they come with higher interest rates.
The average 30-year jumbo loan rate in Arkansas is 2.61% (Zillow, Jan. 2021).
Arkansas ARM Loan Rates
Unlike a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage changes over time. An ARM offers a lower rate for an introductory period between one and 10 years. When that period ends, the rate can change and it will generally rise. The loan’s terms will lay out how many times the interest rate can rise and also the highest possible amount it can reach. It is important to make sure that the maximum potential rate increase is one that you would be able to afford to pay before you decide on an ARM.
The average rate for a 5/1 ARM in Arkansas is 3.15% (Zillow, Jan. 2021).
Arkansas Mortgage Resources
If you need help becoming or remaining a homeowner in Arkansas, there are programs in place to help cut down on costs and secure a loan.
The Arkansas Development Finance Authority has several options for first time homebuyers in particular. Loan programs, tax credits and down payment assistance are available for anyone who qualifies. They also offer “move up” programs to help all homebuyers access an affordable mortgage.
For anyone looking specifically for educational opportunities and budget counseling, the In Affordable Housing group hosts classes in Arkansas on buying a home. They also offer home purchase assistance, as well as credit and budget counseling.
|Resource||Problem or Issue||Who Qualifies|
|Arkansas Development Finance Authority||Affording a first home/down payment.||Mostly first-time homebuyers, but there are "move up" programs available for repeat homebuyers.|
|In Affordable Housing - Little Rock, AR||Seeking education and counseling.||Anyone looking for education on buying a home or working out a home budget.|
|USDA Rural Development - Single family loans||Offers payment assistance to increase an applicant’s repayment ability.||Applicants must be without decent, safe and sanitary housing; Be unable to obtain a loan from other resources on terms and conditions that can reasonably be expected to meet; Agree to occupy the property as your primary residence; Have the legal capacity to incur a loan obligation; Meet citizenship or eligible noncitizen requirements; and not be suspended or debarred from participation in federal programs.|
Arkansas homeowners also have the option to apply for the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. The program provides loans and grants to people in rural communities who want to buy a new house or repair their current home.
Arkansas Mortgage Taxes
Homeowners are allowed to deduct the mortgage interest they pay when they file their federal income taxes. This also applies to Arkansas state income taxes as well. You can double your deductions for the qualifying mortgage interest payments you have made in the tax year by including it on both state and federal filings.
Arkansas also charges taxes on real estate property title transfers. The real estate transfer tax in Arkansas is 0.33%, or $3.30 per $1,000. However, the buyer and seller typically split this fee. Discuss this tax with your lawyer or accountant before buying your home.
Arkansas Mortgage Refinance
There are resources out there to help you effectively refinance your Arkansas home. One tried-and-true option was the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but that program no longer exists. The High Loan-to-Value Refinance Option from Fannie Mae is an alternative. If you don’t qualify for these programs, you can work with the lender who issued you your mortgage and compare those rates with other lenders to find the refinance solution that works best for you.
Best Places To Get A Mortgage
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the best counties in the U.S. (and in each state) for securing a home mortgage. Hover over states and counties to see rankings and data points for each region, or use the map’s tabs to view the top counties for each of the factors included in our analysis.
Methodology In order to determine the best places in the country to get a mortgage, our study compared four factors, including overall borrowing costs, likelihood of securing a mortgage, property taxes and annual mortgage payments.
To calculate the overall borrowing costs, we analyzed the expected costs throughout the first five years for a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment, including closing costs. We calculated the ease of getting a mortgage as the ratio of mortgage applications to mortgage originations (secured mortgages) in each county. Annual mortgage payments are a measure of the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan in that location using average mortgage rates in each county.
Finally, we ranked locations based on these four factors, giving equal weight to each factor. The areas with the lowest average rankings are the best places to get a mortgage.
Sources: Mortgage Bankers Association, US Census Bureau 2018 5-Year American Community Survey, Informa, Bankrate, government websites, SmartAsset