NEW YORK, NY - Fixed mortgage rates fell to a 3-month low, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 3.61 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.32 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate pulled back to 2.85 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage is at the lowest point since mid-December, 3.98 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 3-year ARM jumping to 3.12 percent, while the 5-year ARM slid to a new low of 2.66 percent.
Soft economic data both here and abroad, coupled with renewed stock market volatility, was enough to bring mortgage rates lower for a fifth consecutive week. The upbeat economic data in the first quarter has given way to more tepid readings of late, raising the possibility of yet another Spring slowdown. Concerns about just such a slowdown will likely keep mortgage rates in check.
The last time mortgage rates were above 5 percent was Apr. 2011. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate currently at 3.61 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $910.41, a difference of $172 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.61% -- down from 3.64% last week (avg. points: 0.32)
15-year fixed: 2.85% -- down from 2.89% last week (avg. points: 0.31)
5/1 ARM: 2.66% -- down from 2.70% last week (avg. points: 0.26)
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 predicting mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged and 31 percent forecasting further declines. The remaining 23 percent expect an increase in mortgage rates over the coming week.