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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Rise as Credit Crunch Intensifies
New York, New York, USA,  02 October 2008 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates increased for the third consecutive week, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rising to 6.41%. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey, the average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.42 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing notched higher to 6.14%, while the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate climbed to 7.65%. Adjustable mortgage rates were mixed, with the average 1-year ARM sharply lower at 6.04%, while the average 5/1 ARM jumped to 6.495.

Mortgage rates moved higher this week despite benchmark Treasury yields being largely unchanged versus one week ago. The tightening grip of the credit crunch means a return to wider mortgage spreads, representing the difference between mortgage rates and the risk-free 10-year Treasury. Although this risk premium had narrowed following the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, spreads widened following the defeat of the financial rescue package. Unhappy mortgage shoppers can contact their Congressional representatives.

This year has been a wild ride for mortgage rates, with a low in January of 5.57% and a high of 6.77% in July. At today's rate of 6.41%, a USD 200,000 loan carries a monthly payment of USD 1252.32.


30-year fixed: 6.41% -- up from 6.32% last week (avg. points: 0.42)
15-year fixed: 6.14% -- up from 6.11% last week (avg. points: 0.44)
5/1 ARM: 6.49% -- up from 6.38% last week (avg. points: 0.41)

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. Two-thirds of respondents, 67%, expect rates to retreat in the coming weeks. Just 13% predict a further increase in mortgage rates, while the remaining 20% forecast that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged in the next 30 to 45 days.

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

About Bankrate, Inc. (NASDAQ:RATE)

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, and InsureMe. 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 4800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. In 2007, Bankrate.com had nearly 60 million unique visitors. 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, and The New York Times (NYSE:NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.

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