Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows

/PRNewswire/ -- The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage moved a touch higher from 5 percent to 5.01 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.39 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage set a new record low of 4.46 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate inched lower to 6.02 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages posted mixed results, with the average 3-year ARM jumping to 4.77 percent and the 5-year ARM sinking to 4.52 percent.

Mortgage rates are at ultra-low levels because the Federal Reserve isn't showing any indication of raising interest rates soon and because investors around the globe maintain a healthy appetite for debt backed by the U.S. government. The demand for government debt and federally guaranteed mortgage-backed securities have kept bond prices elevated and held bond yields down. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on government and mortgage-backed debt. However, there are no guarantees about how long mortgage rates will remain near record lows.

Mortgage rates are nearly one full percentage point lower than one year ago. This time last year, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.92 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,188.83. With the average rate now 5.01 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,074.87, a savings of $114 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS
30-year fixed: 5.01% -- up from 5.00% last week (avg. points: 0.39)
15-year fixed: 4.46% -- down from 4.47% last week (avg. points: 0.32)
5/1 ARM: 4.52% -- down from 4.54% last week (avg. points: 0.30)

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 http://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates

The survey is complemented by Bankrate's weekly forward-looking Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next 30 to 45 days. The majority of panelists, 62 percent, expect mortgage rates to head higher and just 7 percent predict lower rates. Nearly one in three, or 31 percent, forecast that rates will remain more or less unchanged over the next 30 to 45 days.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/

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