NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates moved lower once again, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate setting a new record low of 3.78 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 average 15-year fixed mortgage rate inched downward to 3.04 percent, while the jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage retreated to 4.43 percent, both record lows. Adjustable mortgage rates were lower, with the average 5/1 ARM rate falling to 2.89 percent and the 7/1 adjustable pulling back to 3.05 percent. Both of those are also record lows.
Weak retail sales were the latest indicator of a flagging economy. While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gave no indication of further stimulus in his semiannual Congressional testimony, the summer economic swoon gave bond investors all the excuse they needed to continue piling into government and mortgage-backed bonds. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on such bonds.
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 3.78 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $929.64, a difference of $312 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.78% -- down from 3.79% last week (avg. points: 0.43)
15-year fixed: 3.04% -- down from 3.05% last week (avg. points: 0.32)
5/1 ARM: 2.89% -- down from 2.95% last week (avg. points: 0.33)
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. Half of the panelists expect mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged in the next seven days. The remainder are evenly split, with 25 percent forecasting an increase from these record lows and 25 percent predicting further declines in the next 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.