NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates pulled back slightly, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate settling at 4.00 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 inched lower to 3.22 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage fell back to 4.07 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the 5-year ARM stepping back to 3.17 percent and the 7-year ARM retreating to 3.39 percent.
Mortgage rates broke a 4-week streak of increases, with rates settling after a nearly quarter-percentage point rise since late April. Ironically, a more upbeat tone to recent economic data helped the cause. The better tone to economic data makes it more likely the Federal Reserve will indeed raise short-term interest rates at some point in 2014. Any increase from the Fed would help keep inflation at bay, which is music to the ears of the investors that buy long-term government and mortgage-backed bonds. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government debt. So looking ahead to an eventual increase in short-term interest rates, it is no guarantee we'll see the same movement on longer-term fixed mortgage rates.
Eighteen months ago the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.44 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,006.25. With the average rate now at 4.00 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $954.83, a difference of $51 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 4.00% -- down from 4.03% last week (avg. points: 0.23)
15-year fixed: 3.22% -- down from 3.23% last week (avg. points: 0.15)
5/1 ARM: 3.17% -- down from 3.19% 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 10 top 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 respondents, 58 percent, expect mortgage rates to retreat in the coming week while just 17 percent forecast an increase. The remaining 25 percent predict that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged over the coming week.