NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates remained below the 5 percent mark, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching lower to 4.95 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.37 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed mortgage stepped down to 4.14 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate reset the low point of the year at 5.40 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were also lower, with the average 5-year ARM dipping to 3.69 percent and the 7-year ARM dropping to an even 4 percent.
Mortgage rates were lower this week, but the movement in mortgage rates continues to be tame. Mortgage rates have remained within a one-third percentage point band since mid-December. The Federal Reserve did little to rock the boat, holding interest rates steady and changing very little in the post-meeting statement. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's initial press release was a historic event, but uneventful. While the Federal Reserve confirmed that they will halt their bond purchases at the end of June, this has been widely expected and any resulting volatility in bond yields or mortgage rates is far from certain. 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 the time, the average 30-year fixed 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 4.95 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,067.54, a difference of $174 per month for anyone refinancing now.
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 vast majority of panelists, 77 percent, don't see much of any movement in mortgage rates over the upcoming week. The remainder are split, with 15 percent predicting an increase in mortgage rates and just 8 percent forecasting a decline 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, 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.