NEW YORK, NY - Disappointing reports on retail sales and housing starts were enough to pull mortgage rates back from last week's 2-year high, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate sliding to 4.56 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 average 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.65 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined to 4.71 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the popular 5-year adjustable rate retreating to 3.56 percent and the 7-year rate falling to 3.87 percent. The 10-year ARM was the exception, moving a touch higher to 4.08 percent.
Weaker economic data increases the odds the Federal Reserve holds off tapering their bond-buying stimulus. And further easing the upward pressure on interest rates this week were comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who emphasized in an appearance before Congress that the tapering is not set in stone and the Fed is very adaptable to incoming economic data.
As recently as May 1st, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.52 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $900.32. With the average rate currently at 4.56 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,020.51, a difference of $120 per month for anyone that waited just a little too long.
30-year fixed: 4.56% -- down from 4.66% last week (avg. points: 0.31)
15-year fixed: 3.65% -- down from 3.75% last week (avg. points: 0.25)
5/1 ARM: 3.56% -- down from 3.63% last week (avg. points: 0.31)
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. More than half of respondents - 56 percent - expect mortgage rates to decline over the next week, with 44 percent forecasting that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged. Interestingly, none of the panelists predicted an increase in mortgage rates over the coming week.