Fears Drive Mortgage Rates Lower

Fears Drive Mortgage Rates Lower
NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates retreated, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 5.12 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.47 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage stepped down to 4.49 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate nosed higher to 5.94 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 3-year ARM backpedalling to 4.52 percent while the 5-year ARM sank to 4.31 percent.

European debt worries were the catalyst for this week's decline in mortgage rates. The idea that countries an ocean away having trouble repaying their debts could translate into lower mortgage rates here probably sounds pretty Greek to most people. But when investors get nervous, like they are now, they gravitate to safer investments. Those safer investments are securities issued by the U.S. government, to which mortgage rates are closely related. Whenever the nervousness subsides, mortgage rates will move back up.

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 5.12 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,088.36, a savings of $153 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 seven days. Nearly half of the panelists, 47 percent, expect mortgage rates to rebound and move higher while just 18 percent predict a further decline. A little more than one-third, 35 percent, don't foresee much change in mortgage rates, forecasting that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged over the next week.

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.
Source: Bankrate.com

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