NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates declined for a fifth consecutive week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 4.39 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.30 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage held steady at 3.47 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained at 4.58 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the popular 5-year adjustable rate falling to 3.34 percent and the 7-year ARM sliding to 3.68 percent.
The ongoing government shutdown and the looming debt ceiling deadline have made investors cautious. The prospect for slower economic growth has investors moving into longer-term government and mortgage-backed bonds, bringing yields lower. This has been good for mortgage rates, which are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
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 4.39 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,000.34, a difference of $100 per month for anyone that waited too long.
30-year fixed: 4.39% -- down from 4.41% last week (avg. points: 0.30)
15-year fixed: 3.47% -- unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.21)
5/1 ARM: 3.34% -- down from 3.40% last week (avg. points: 0.24)
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. The group is divided, with half expecting mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged and 42 percent predicting rates will fall. Just 8 percent forecast an increase in mortgage rates in the next week.