NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates rose for the first time in seven weeks, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased two basis points to 3.96% and the 15-year fixed rate stepped up four basis points to 3.25%.
The jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the 5-year ARM were higher as well, to 4.09% and 3.28%, respectively.
Investors continue to be concerned about the health of economies overseas with evidence that China's growth is slowing, the Eurozone countries are struggling and Japan's future remains uncertain. The recent swan dive by the Russian ruble only deepened worries about the global economy. Those concerns have pushed international investors to pour money into U.S. bonds as a safe haven. That is keeping yields on the 10-year Treasury low (and mortgage rates tend to track 10-year Treasuries).
As 2013 came to a close, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.69%. At that time, a $200,000 loan carried a monthly payment of $1,036.07. With 2014 nearing an end and the average rate at 3.96%, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $950.22, a savings of approximately $86 per month for anyone that waited.
30-year fixed: 3.96% -- up from 3.94% last week (avg. points: 0.34)
15-year fixed: 3.25% -- up from 3.21% last week (avg. points: 0.19)
5/1 ARM: 3.28% -- up from 3.21% 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 (the survey was conducted on Tuesday this week due to the Christmas holiday).
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. Most of the panelists (54%) expect rates to remain more or less unchanged over the next week. 45% forecast an increase and 0% say rates will decrease.