NEW YORK, NY - The benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched lower to 4.24 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 average 15-year fixed mortgage ticked lower to 3.47 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate notched higher off last week's record low, to 4.77 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the average 3-year ARM sliding to 3.45 percent and the 5-year ARM stepping up to 3.17 percent.
Mortgage rates have been very sedate in recent weeks and this was another week of pretty tame movement. The key driver of mortgage rates remains the European debit crisis, which is a fluid situation with the outcome far from certain. But in the meantime, the nervousness is keeping mortgage rates near record lows. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on long-term government bonds. On a more positive note, the tone of economic data in the U.S. has been more upbeat lately, but not so much as to push mortgage rates higher.
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 4.24 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $982.71, a difference of $259 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.
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. There is no clear consensus this week, with 46 percent of the panelists expecting mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged. The remainder of those polled are evenly split, with 27 percent forecasting a decline and an equal 27 percent expecting mortgage rates to rise over the next week.
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