NEW YORK, NY - Turbulent financial markets pushed mortgage rates lower for a second consecutive week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 4.46 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.36 discount and origination points. The record low of 4.42 percent was set in October and November of 2010.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage reset a record at 3.61 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate set a new record of 5.02 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages also moved into record territory, with the average 7-year ARM dropping to 3.45 percent and the 10-year ARM falling to 3.93 percent.
Despite credit rating downgrades to the United States, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, it was a good week for mortgage rates. The weak economy continues to dominate, with market turmoil and the Federal Reserve's pledge to keep short-term interest rates low for another two years driving mortgage rates down sharply for a second consecutive week. This opens the door to refinancing for homeowners that missed the chance last year.
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 4.46 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,008.62, a difference of $233 per month for anyone refinancing now.
15-year fixed: 3.61% -- down from 3.68% last week (avg. points: 0.35)
5/1 ARM: 3.24% -- up from 3.23% last week (avg. points: 0.37)
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. The panel is split this week, with 36 percent expecting mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged over the next week, while an equal 36 percent forecast further declines. Just 28 percent predict any kind of rebound in the upcoming week.
For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to: www.bankrate.com
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