NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates posted mixed results this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the second week in a row, to 3.97 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.23 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage moved higher to 3.18 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage pulled back to 4.08 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the 5-year ARM sinking to 3.23 percent and the 7-year ARM retreating to 3.45 percent.
A strong jobs report that initially pushed mortgage rates higher was offset somewhat, though not entirely, by investor nervousness about the falling euro. Even though the U.S. economy is improving and an eventual Fed interest rate hike is coming, the strengthening U.S. dollar has fueled demand for dollar denominated assets such as government and mortgage-backed bonds. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds. In times of nervousness, investors quickly flee riskier, more volatile markets and assets for the safer haven of U.S. shores.
One year ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.50 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,013.37. With the average rate now at 3.97 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $951.37, a savings of $62 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.97% -- up from 3.93% last week (avg. points: 0.23)
15-year fixed: 3.18% -- up from 3.16% last week (avg. points: 0.18)
5/1 ARM: 3.23% -- down from 3.28% last week (avg. points: 0.20)
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. There is no clear consensus this week, with the panelists fairly evenly divided. Among respondents, 38 percent expect mortgage rates to pull back over the next week. Meanwhile, 31 percent forecast further increases, and an equal 31 percent predict that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged in the coming week.