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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Inch Higher
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New York, New York, USA, 28 December 2006 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates moved higher for the third consecutive week following strong consumer spending figures for November. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now 6.23%. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30- year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.25 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing nosed higher to 5.96%. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate was down slightly to 6.44%. The average 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage climbed to 6.11% and the average one-year ARM increased to 5.93%.

Mortgage rates increased following a report about strong consumer spending in November. This was additional evidence, following other reports in recent weeks on retail sales and a strong labor market, that any hopes of a Fed rate cut coming soon are premature. Bond yields and mortgage rates were only slightly higher as there was little else of significance during a holiday- shortened week with light trading volumes. Mortgage rates are closely related to the yields on long-term government bonds.

Fixed mortgage rates are sharply lower since the Fed stopped raising interest rates at mid-year. In late June, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.93%. At the time, the monthly payment on a loan of USD 165,000 was USD 1090. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.23%, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of USD 1013.79. Fixed mortgage rates are a compelling refinancing alternative for adjustable rate borrowers facing sharp payment adjustments.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 6.23% -- up from 6.2% last week (avg. points: 0.25)
15-year fixed: 5.96% -- up from 5.95% last week (avg. points: 0.26)
5/1 ARM: 6.11% -- up from 6.09% last week (avg. points: 0.27)

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.

About Bankrate, Inc.

Bankrate, Inc. (NASDAQ:RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, a leading Internet consumer banking marketplace. Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management, and college finance. It is the leading aggregator of 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 4800 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:TWX), The Wall Street Journal (NYSE:DJ), and The New York Times (NYSE:NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 400 national and state publications. In addition to Bankrate.com, Bankrate, Inc. also owns and operates FastFind, an Internet lead aggregator and MMIS/Interest.com, which publishes mortgage guides and financial rates and information.



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