NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates jumped sharply this week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate hitting the point since April 2010, 5.23 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.45 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage climbed to 4.48 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate soared to 5.74 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were also on the rise, with the average 5-year ARM zooming to 4.01 percent and the 7-year ARM moving to 4.38 percent.
Just when mortgage rates had lulled everyone to sleep, fluctuating less than one-tenth of a percentage point from mid-December through early February, they broke out – and in a big way. Mortgage rates jumped to the highest point since April 2010 as better economic news fueled both optimism and a move out of low-yielding assets. Although the economy added just 36,000 jobs in January, a drop in the unemployment rate from 9.4 percent to 9 percent was key. Investors moved out of safe haven Treasury notes and into riskier assets such as stocks that have better return prospects in a growing economy. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
Mortgage rates have staged a big rebound off the record lows seen in November. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 4.42 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,003.89. With the average rate now 5.23 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,101.93, a difference of $98 per month for anyone sitting on the fence.
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. The majority of panelists – 60 percent – expect mortgage rates to keep rising, while just 20 percent predict they'll fall back. The remaining 20 percent forecast that mortgage rates will be 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, 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.