NEW YORK, NY - Fixed mortgage rates fell for the sixth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to a four month low of 3.57 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.31 discount and origination points.
The news was even better on the average 15-year fixed mortgage, which set a new record low of 2.8 percent. The larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate held at 3.98 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the 5-year ARM settling at a new low of 2.65 percent, the 7-year ARM holding at 2.87 percent, and the 10-year ARM dipping to a three-month low of 3.21 percent.
Mortgage rates continue to trend lower as uneven economic data has raised concerns about another economic slowdown. The accompanying stock market volatility has also been good for mortgage rates by increasing demand for both government- and mortgage-backed bonds, to which mortgage rates are closely related.
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 3.57 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $905.92, a difference of $176 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.57% -- down from 3.61% last week (avg. points: 0.31)
15-year fixed: 2.80% -- down from 2.85% last week (avg. points: 0.28)
5/1 ARM: 2.65% -- down from 2.66% 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. Experts don't expect much change in mortgage rates over the coming week, with 73 percent forecasting that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged. Those predicting another decline (18 percent) outnumber those expecting an increase (9 percent) by a margin of two-to-one.