May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates dropped again, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 4.77 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.4 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage pulled back to 3.95 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate retreated to 5.22 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages established new lows, with the average 5-year ARM sinking to 3.48 percent and the 7-year ARM settling at 3.73 percent.
Loss of momentum in the economic recovery, and worries that the economy could slow further once the Fed stops pumping money into the markets via bond purchases, has investors nervous. Nervous investors are usually good news for mortgage shoppers, as they gravitate into safe-haven Treasury securities to which mortgage rates are closely related. This has helped keep fixed mortgage rates at historic lows and within striking distance of the all-time lows that were established in November 2010.
The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 4.77 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,045.71, a difference of $196 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 4.77% -- down from 4.82% last week (avg. points: 0.4)
15-year fixed: 3.95% -- down from 4.00% last week (avg. points: 0.34)
5/1 ARM: 3.48% -- down from 3.52% last week (avg. points: 0.39)
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.
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, 39 percent of the panelists expect mortgage rates to rise, while 44 percent predict mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged. Just 17 percent forecast further declines in the coming week.
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