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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates at 7-week High
New York, New York, USA, 04 January 2007 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates moved slightly higher on a week highlighted by better-than-anticipated home sales figures. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now 6.24%, the highest since 15 November 2006. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.27 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing increased to 5.99%. The same was true for larger loans, with the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate up modestly to 6.47%. The average 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage climbed to 6.15% and the average one-year ARM inched upward to 5.94%.

Movements in mortgage rates were subtle during the holiday season, with little in the way of economic data or market volatility to push rates one way or the other. The most significant news came in the form of better home sales figures for November. This pushed bond yields higher on the belief that the Federal Reserve would be unlikely to cut interest rates any time soon. 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. Six months ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.91%. At the time, the monthly payment on a loan of USD 165,000 was USD 1087.79. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.24%, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of USD 1014.86. Fixed mortgage rates are a compelling refinancing alternative for adjustable rate borrowers facing sharp payment adjustments.


30-year fixed: 6.24% -- up from 6.23% last week (avg. points: 0.27)
15-year fixed: 5.99% -- up from 5.96% last week (avg. points: 0.25)
5/1 ARM: 6.15% -- up from 6.11% last week (avg. points: 0.28)

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

The survey is complemented by Bankrate's weekly forward-looking Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next 30 to 45 days. The panelists have mixed opinions. Half predict rates will remain unchanged in the coming weeks, while 20% forecast a decline. The remaining 30% expect rates to rise in the coming 30 to 45 days.

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

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 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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