NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates retreated this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to 4.12 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.26 discount and origination points.
The larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate mimicked the move of the conforming 30-year fixed mortgage, moving down to 4.12 percent, and the average 15-year fixed mortgage settled at 3.30 percent. Adjustable mortgage rates were broadly lower, with the 5-year ARM stepping down to 3.24 percent and the 7-year ARM sinking to 3.48 percent.
Mortgage rates moved slightly over the past week as the Greek debt crisis receded from the headlines, but it was enough to bring mortgage rates to the lowest level since the first week of June. With the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on July 29, there is likely to be an increased focus on interest rates and the Fed's presumed timetable going forward. The eventuality of an initial interest rate hike is already reflected in mortgage rates so further movement – either up or down – will depend more on the trajectory of subsequent Fed action. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has pledged a gradual pace of movement, helping to keep mortgage rates in check.
In mid-April, mortgage rates were at the lowest point in nearly two years when the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.79 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $930.78. With the average rate now at 4.12 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $968.72, a difference of nearly $38 per month for anyone that sat on the fence for three months too long.
30-year fixed: 4.12% -- down from 4.17% last week (avg. points: 0.26)
15-year fixed: 3.30% -- down from 3.34% last week (avg. points: 0.17)
5/1 ARM: 3.24% -- down from 3.28% last week (avg. points: 0.19)
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. There is not a clear consensus, with 46 percent predicting mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged in the coming week while 36 percent expect mortgage rates to bounce higher. Just 18 percent of respondents forecast a decline in mortgage rates in the coming week.