NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates barely budged this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage inching lower to 5.07 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.38 discount and origination points.
Source: Bankrate, Inc.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage nudged higher to 4.45 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate fell to 5.88 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were split, with the average 3-year ARM rising to 4.49 percent while the 5-year ARM dipped to 4.46 percent.
It was another week absent any mortgage rate volatility. Mortgage rates have fluctuated within a narrow range of just one-tenth of one percentage point in the past two months. While the Federal Reserve is maintaining the pledge to keep short-term interest rates "exceptionally low" for "an extended period," this doesn't necessarily dictate what happens with fixed mortgage rates. Far more significant is the Fed's program of buying mortgage-backed securities, which will come to a halt as scheduled by the end of the month. With the Fed no longer serving as the dominant buyer of mortgage securities, the days of low volatility appear numbered.
The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At that time, the average rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 5.07 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,082.22, a savings of $159 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.
Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.
For a full analysis of this week's move in mortgage rates, go to: www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates
The survey is complemented by Bankrate's weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next week. The majority of panelists don't expect much change in mortgage rates, with 59 percent predicting that rates will be more or less unchanged over the next week. One-third of respondents do expect mortgage rates to increase but just 8 percent forecast further declines.
For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to: www.bankrate.com/RTI
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company's flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! ( YHOO), America Online ( AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ( NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers. Bankrate, Inc. was acquired by Apax Partners, one of the world's leading private equity investment groups, in September 2009. Apax operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience.