NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates dropped to new lows this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 4.5 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.35 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage fell below the 4 percent mark to 3.96 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate dipped to 5.17 percent, both record lows. Adjustable rate mortgages hit new lows also, with the average 5-year ARM sliding to 3.71 percent and the average 7-year ARM sinking to 3.96 percent.
Mortgage rates hit new record lows as the Federal Reserve expressed concerns about the economy and the slowing rate of inflation. The announcement by the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee indicated the Fed is prepared to take action to reduce long-term interest rates in the coming months. With prospects of additional bond purchase stimulus, investors jumped into Treasuries driving bond yields and mortgage rates lower. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
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 4.5 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,013.37, a savings of $228 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.
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. According to the majority of panelists, 71 percent, mortgage rates aren't headed much of anywhere and will remain more or less unchanged. Nearly one in four respondents, 23 percent, expect mortgage rates to move lower while just six percent predict an increase in mortgage rates 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, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote. 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! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: 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.