NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates fell for a fourth consecutive week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 4.5 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.34 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.56 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage slid to 4.54 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were broadly lower, with the average 5-year ARM dropping to 3.37 percent and the 10-year ARM dipping back below the 4 percent threshold to 3.99 percent.
Some uneven economic data, particularly disappointments in the December jobs report and durable good orders, along with a bout of stock market volatility, have brought long-term bond yields and mortgage rates lower. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds. This decline comes despite the ongoing tapering of bond purchases by the Federal Reserve. Eventually, an improving economy and continued Fed tapering is expected to push mortgage rates higher.
On May 1, 2013, 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 4.5 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,013.37, a difference of $113 per month for anyone that waited too long.
30-year fixed: 4.50% -- down from 4.56% last week (avg. points: 0.34)
15-year fixed: 3.56% -- down from 3.61% last week (avg. points: 0.21)
5/1 ARM: 3.37% -- down from 3.42% 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. The panelists are divided this week, with 42 percent expecting further decreases in mortgage rates and 29 percent predicting an increase. An equal 29 percent forecast that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged in the next week.