NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates eased back following a big move up last week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 5.16 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.42 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage retreated to 4.43 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate inched lower to 5.73 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 3-year ARM sliding to 3.97 percent and the 5-year ARM climbing to 4.05 percent.
Retail sales that came in below expectations contributed to this week's retreat in mortgage rates. Although the tone of economic data is certainly stronger in recent months, any less-than-stellar reports or comments by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke make it clear that the Fed has no intention of raising interest rates any time soon. The reality of low rates and sluggish job growth sustain demand for government bonds, to which mortgage rates are closely related.
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 5.16 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,093.29, a difference of almost $90 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 – 64 percent – don't expect much movement out of mortgage rates over the next week, while 22 percent predict they'll move higher. Just 14 percent forecast a continued retreat in mortgage rates 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, 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.