Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Down for Third Consecutive Week

Mar 03, 2011, 09:05 ET from Bankrate, Inc.

NEW YORK, March 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates continued to fall this week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping back to 5.03 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.42 discount and origination points.

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

The average 15-year fixed mortgage slipped back to 4.31 percent, as did the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate dropping to 5.60 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were also lower, with the average 5-year ARM sliding to 3.85 percent and the 7-year ARM plunging to 4.23 percent.  

Mortgage rates extended their decline to a third consecutive week as nervous investors move money into government bonds. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term Treasury securities. The combination of ongoing unrest in the Middle East, oil prices flirting with $100 per barrel, and an unexpected downward revision to fourth quarter economic growth pose risk to the economic recovery - both individually and collectively. Any risk to the economic recovery is synonymous with lower bond yields and mortgage rates. The next move rests largely with the results of Friday's employment report.

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 5.03 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,077.31, a difference of $165 per month for anyone refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 5.03% -- down from 5.09% last week (avg. points: 0.42)

15-year fixed: 4.31% -- down from 4.37% last week (avg. points: 0.38)

5/1 ARM: 3.85% -- down from 3.93% 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.

For a full analysis of this week's move in mortgage rates, go to http://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. Only 10 percent of the panelists expect mortgage rates to continue to drop. More than one-third – 39 percent – predict they'll move higher over the next week, 11 percent of the experts expect them to continue going down, and the remaining 50 percent don't see much movement out of mortgage rates over the next week.

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

About Bankrate, Inc.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe CreditCardGuide.com, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote.  Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company's flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.  Bankrate, Inc. was acquired by Apax Partners, one of the world's leading private equity investment groups, in September 2009.  Apax operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. For more information on Apax, visit: www.Apax.com.

For more information contact:

Kayleen Yates

Senior Director, Corporate Communications

kyates@bankrate.com

(917) 368-8677



SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.



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