NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates moved slightly higher for a second consecutive week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 3.99 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.32 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage nosed higher to 3.27 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage held steady at 4.09 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly higher as well, with the 5-year ARM climbing to 3.32 percent and the 10-year ARM stepping up to 3.83 percent.
Despite forecasts for increases in 2014, mortgage rates fell throughout the year, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate ending 2014 under the 4 percent threshold, at 3.99 percent. Even with average home price appreciation of 5 percent, housing is more affordable now, with lower monthly payments on a larger loan than one year ago, by virtue of lower mortgage rates. Yet the housing market is sluggish as would-be homebuyers contend with stagnant incomes. If wage growth materializes as expected in 2015, home sales will pick up as buyers' reluctance slips away.
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. One year later finds mortgage rates substantially lower. With the average rate now at 3.99 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $953.68, a savings of $82 per month compared to one year ago.
30-year fixed: 3.99% -- up from 3.96% last week (avg. points: 0.32)
15-year fixed: 3.27% -- up from 3.25% last week (avg. points: 0.18)
5/1 ARM: 3.32% -- up from 3.28% last week (avg. points: 0.20)
Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each week 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. More than half of the panelists, 58 percent, expect mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged. One-third of respondents forecast an increase with just 9 percent predicting a decline in mortgage rates in the coming week.