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Mortgage Rates Down 2 Weeks in a Row

February 24, 2011
Mortgage rates retreated further this week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping back to 5.09%, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.45 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage pulled back to 4.37%, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate reversed to 5.67%. Adjustable rate mortgages were also lower, with the average 5-year ARM sliding to 3.93% and the 7-year ARM plunging to 4.29%.

Mortgage rates fell for a second week in a row as unrest in the Middle East, and perhaps more significantly, a spike in oil prices, helped bring fearful investors back into the perceived safety of government bonds, to which mortgage rates are closely related. The worry prevailing in financial markets was that higher oil prices could stall out the economic recovery. But bear in mind, mortgage rates will head right back up if those fears dissipate, Bankrate.com analysts warn.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6% was Nov. 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33%, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 5.09%, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,084.67, a difference of $157 per month for anyone refinancing now.

Survey results

  • 30-year fixed: 5.09%—down from 5.16% last week (avg. points: 0.45)
  • 15-year fixed: 4.37%—down from 4.43% last week (avg. points: 0.38)
  • 5/1 ARM: 3.93%—down from 4.05% 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.

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