NEW YORK, NY - The benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate dipped slightly from 4.24 percent to 4.23 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 was unchanged at 3.47 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate dropped to 4.74 percent, a new record low. Adjustable rate mortgages rose, with the average 3-year ARM climbing to 3.50 percent and the 5-year ARM rising to 3.20 percent.
The mortgage world tends to slow down during the holiday season, but that hasn't been the case this year. While many potential borrowers are traveling and not thinking about their mortgages this week, some lenders say their phones have been ringing nonstop.
It's not because of a sudden drop in interest rates, as mortgage rates barely changed this week. The buzz comes from hundreds of thousands of borrowers who want to take advantage of the recently revamped Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP.
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 4.23 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $981.54, a difference of $260.32 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 4.23% -- down from 4.24% last week (avg. points: 0.37)
15-year fixed: 3.47% -- unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.37)
5/1 ARM: 3.20% -- up from 3.17% last week (avg. points: 0.40)
Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey is conducted 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, 53 percent, expect rates to remain more or less unchanged (plus or minus two basis points). Twenty-seven percent expect rates to rise and 20% expect rates to fall.
Bankrate is a leading publisher, aggregator and distributor of personal finance content on the Internet. Bankrate provides consumers with proprietary, fully researched, comprehensive, independent and objective personal finance editorial content across multiple vertical categories including mortgages, deposits, insurance, credit cards, and other categories, such as retirement, automobile loans, and taxes. The Bankrate network includes Bankrate.com, our flagship website, and other owned and operated personal finance websites, including CreditCards.com, Interest.com, Bankaholic.com, Mortgage-calc.com, CreditCardGuide.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsuranceQuotes.com, CarInsuranceQuotes.com, InsureMe, Bankrate.com.cn, CreditCards.ca, NetQuote.com, and CD.com. Bankrate aggregates rate information from over 4,800 institutions on more than 300 financial products. With coverage of nearly 600 local markets in all 50 U.S. states, Bankrate generates over 172,000 distinct rate tables capturing on average over three million pieces of information daily. Bankrate develops and provides web services to over 80 co-branded websites with online partners, including some of the most trusted and frequently visited personal finance sites on the Internet such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNBC and Bloomberg. In addition, Bankrate licenses editorial content to over 500 newspapers on a daily basis including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe.