NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates retreated modestly, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate pulling back to 4.44 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.37 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate slumped to 3.51 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate ticked down to 4.45 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 3-year ARM sliding to 3.25 percent and the 5-year nosing higher to 3.35 percent.
Despite the abysmal economic performance in the first quarter of the year brought on by the brutal winter weather, both the temperatures and the broader economy are starting to warm up. The Federal Open Market Committee gave a nod to a pickup in economic activity and household spending, and maintained the tapering of bond purchases by scaling back an additional $10 billion in monthly purchases. With the Fed avoiding any market-unsettling surprises, the focus now turns to the monthly jobs report. The employment report is the next likely catalyst for movement in bond yields and mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
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. Now one year later, with the average rate at 4.44 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,006.25, a difference of $106 per month for anyone that waited.
30-year fixed: 4.44% -- down from 4.48% last week (avg. points: 0.37)
15-year fixed: 3.51% -- down from 3.54% last week (avg. points: 0.23)
5/1 ARM: 3.35% -- up from 3.34% last week (avg. points: 0.25)
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. Panelists aren't expecting much change in the upcoming week, with two-thirds predicting mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged. Just 22 percent expect mortgage rates to rise in the coming week, while the remaining 11 percent forecast a decline in mortgage rates over the next seven days.