NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates were little changed, remaining at record low levels. The average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate was unchanged at the record low of 3.97 percent according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.41 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate inched lower to a new record of 3.19 percent while the jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage remained at the record low of 4.52 percent. Adjustable mortgage rates were mixed, with the average 3-year adjustable holding at 3.11 percent, while the popular 5-year ARM ticked higher to 3.02 percent.
Nervousness about the European debt crisis and the future of the euro continue to hold sway over financial markets, including mortgage rates. Any time uncertainty prevails it is a recipe for low mortgage rates as investors flock to the safety of U.S. Treasury securities, to which mortgage rates are closely related. These issues in Europe have lingered for two years and they're not likely to solve anything right away, so the odds certainly favor an environment where mortgage rates remain low.
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 3.97 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $951.37, a difference of $290 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. The majority of the panelists, 55 percent, see little change in mortgage rates over the next seven days. A little more than one-third, 36 percent, predict an increase in mortgage rates and just 9 percent forecast a decrease in the coming week.
For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to www.bankrate.com
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, 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.