NEW YORK, Apr. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates dropped below the 5 percent mark, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 4.96 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.44 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage retreated to 4.16 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate hit the low point of the year at 5.44 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages got in on the act, with the average 5-year ARM sinking to 3.7 percent and the 7-year ARM sliding to 4.03 percent.
Mortgage rates moved below the 5 percent threshold despite a negative credit outlook on U.S. government debt. The movement was counterintuitive but came as a result of nervousness about the economic recovery, either from pressure to dial back government stimulus in the face of mounting deficits or from the economic risk posed by rising oil prices. But the movement in mortgage rates continues to be tame, with rates remaining within a one-third percentage point band since mid-December. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
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 4.96 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,068.76, a difference of $173 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 4.96% -- down from 5.07% last week (avg. points: 0.44)
15-year fixed: 4.16% -- down from 4.28% last week (avg. points: 0.38)
5/1 ARM: 3.70% -- down from 3.83% last week (avg. points: 0.40)
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. More than half of the panelists, 53 percent, don't see much of any movement in mortgage rates over the upcoming week. The remainder are split, with 29 percent predicting an increase in mortgage rates and 18 percent forecasting a decline in mortgage rates over the next seven days.
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMeCreditCardGuide.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.