NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates were mostly lower this week, except for the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate, which held at 4.94 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. The average 15-year fixed mortgage retreated to 4.29 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate settled at 5.57 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were down more notably, with the average 5-year ARM sinking to 3.88 percent and the 7-year ARM plunging to 4.24 percent.
Both fixed and adjustable mortgage rates have been range-bound since mid-December, following a sharp run-up in the month prior to that. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been particularly docile, with the average rate fluctuating less than one-tenth of a percentage point over the past month. A heavy dose of economic data and ongoing debt issuance by the U.S. Treasury have the potential to introduce some volatility to mortgage rates over the next week. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds, which rise along with the fortunes of the economy.
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 4.94 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,066.32, a savings of $175 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.
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. If there is one thing the respondents agree on, it is that mortgage rates won't fall. While none of those polled predict a decline, 44 percent forecast an increase in mortgage rates. The remaining 56 percent expect mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged over the next seven days.
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, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com, 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.