NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates fell for a second consecutive week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 3.80 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.25 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 3.04 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage plummeted to a new record low of 3.92 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages also lower, with the 5-year ARM sinking to 3.14 percent and the 7-year ARM sliding to 3.31 percent.
Mortgage rates returned to the lowest point of 2015, a level seen three previous times from mid-January to early February. The catalyst was the Federal Reserve's downgrading of economic and inflation expectations for this year, which pushed back the expected timing of an initial interest rate hike. Both bond yields and mortgage rates moved lower as expectations on the timing of interest rate hikes are tempered. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
One year ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.51 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,014.56. With the average rate now at 3.80 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $931.91, a savings of $82 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.80% -- down from 3.91% last week (avg. points: 0.25)
15-year fixed: 3.04% -- down from 3.15% last week (avg. points: 0.19)
5/1 ARM: 3.14% -- down from 3.20% 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. One thing is clear – the panelists don't see mortgage rates rising in the next week. But the panelists are divided, with 55 percent expecting mortgage rates to remain more or less unchanged and 45 percent predicting further declines in the next seven days.