NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates moved lower for a sixth consecutive week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 3.94 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.26 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 3.21 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage retreated to 4.04 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were lower also, with the 5-year ARM sinking to 3.21 percent and the 7-year ARM declining to 3.45 percent.
Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level since May 2013 as the global economic jitters and plunging oil prices of recent weeks culminated in a Russian currency crisis. This only heightened the demand for safe-haven Treasury securities. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on long-term government bonds. Although the Federal Reserve has started conditioning financial markets for the eventuality of higher interest rates, Janet Yellen explicitly said that any increase in interest rates is unlikely for the next few months. This, along with the ongoing concerns surrounding the global economy, should keep mortgage rates in check as we move into the New Year.
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. With 2014 nearing an end and the average rate at 3.94 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $947.93, a savings of approximately $88 per month for anyone that waited.
30-year fixed: 3.94% -- down from 4.03% last week (avg. points: 0.26)
15-year fixed: 3.21% -- down from 3.28% last week (avg. points: 0.18)
5/1 ARM: 3.21% -- down from 3.26% last week (avg. points: 0.21)
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 panel is evenly split, with 42 percent forecasting further declines and 42 percent expecting mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged in the coming week. Just 16 percent of the panelists predict a rebound in mortgage rates over the coming week.