NEW YORK, NY - Mortgage rates were down for the third time in the last four weeks, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate sliding to 4.04 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.24 discount and origination points.
The larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate stepped back to 4.00 percent, the lowest since late April, and remains below the smaller conforming 30-year fixed mortgage. The average 15-year fixed mortgage ticked lower to 3.26 percent. Adjustable mortgage rates were on the downswing also, with the 5-year ARM dipping to 3.20 percent and the 7-year ARM dropping to 3.39 percent.
Mortgage rates resumed their decline this week, sparked by a surprise devaluation of the Chinese yuan. By itself, such an action has little effect on the U.S. economy, making Chinese imports a little cheaper and exports to China a bit more expensive. But the consequent drag on economic growth from a larger trade deficit and a further downward influence on inflation could prompt the Fed to delay the first interest rate hike. The prospect of copycat actions from other nations around the globe looking to keep pace and not disadvantage their export capability is further excuse for market volatility. All this helped bring bond yields and mortgage rates lower over the past week. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
At the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.04 percent, the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan is $959.45.
30-year fixed: 4.04% -- down from 4.10% last week (avg. points: 0.24)
15-year fixed: 3.26% -- down from 3.28% last week (avg. points: 0.16)
5/1 ARM: 3.20% -- down from 3.22% 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. This week, half of the panelists expect mortgage rates to keep falling, while one-third – 33 percent – predict rates will remain more or less unchanged. Just 17 percent forecast a rebound in mortgage rates in the coming week.