NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates posted mixed results this week, but the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to a record low of 4.41 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.43 discount and origination points. The previous record low of 4.42 percent was set in October and November of 2010.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 3.63 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate bounced to 4.94 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM dropping to 3.12 percent and the 7-year ARM sinking to 3.27 percent. Both are record lows.
Prevailing economic concerns have kept mortgage rates at historically low levels. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has been below 5 percent in all but 11 weeks during the past year, and never as low as this week. A widely anticipated speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and a full slate of economic data in the next 10 days will steer perceptions about the economy as well as the direction of mortgage rates.
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 4.41 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,002.70, a difference of $239 per month for anyone 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.
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. There is no clear consensus among the panelists, with 38 percent predicting a decline and an equal 38 percent forecasting that rates will remain more or less unchanged. Just 24 percent expect mortgage rates to increase in the upcoming week.
For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to: www.bankrate.com
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