NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates retreated for the fifth week in a row, and seventh time in the past eight weeks, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate pulling back to 4.25 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 rate slumped to 3.35 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate stepped back to 4.29 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 5-year ARM rising to 3.24 percent, the 7-year ARM holding at 3.45 percent and the 10-year ARM sliding further to 3.77 percent.
One year ago mortgage rates were on the rise after then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted at the eventual tapering of Fed stimulus. Now, with the Fed taper well underway and poised to continue, mortgage rates are in the midst of a steady retreat. Why? A number of factors come into play: disappointing U.S. economic growth at the start of 2014; slower growth in emerging markets; the prospect of European stimulus measures; and geopolitical issues around the globe, to name a few. But the bottom line is this - any time investors get nervous, whatever the reason, it is good news for mortgage shoppers. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government debt.
As 2013 came to a close, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.69 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,036.07. After drifting lower for much of the first five months of 2014, the average rate is now 4.25 percent, and the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $983.88, a savings of nearly $52 per month for anyone that waited.
30-year fixed: 4.25% -- down from 4.29% last week (avg. points: 0.34)
15-year fixed: 3.35% -- down from 3.38% last week (avg. points: 0.21)
5/1 ARM: 3.24% -- up from 3.21% last week (avg. points: 0.22)
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 expect the trend to continue, with half predicting mortgage rates will fall further while a further 40 percent say mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged in the upcoming week. Just 10 percent forecast a rebound in mortgage rates over the next seven days.