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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Tumble to 7-Month Low
New York, New York, USA, 28 September 2006 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates fell sharply on the heels of soft economic data, one week after the Federal Open Market Committee left interest rates unchanged. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now 6.29%, the lowest since 01 March. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the 30-year fixed rate mortgages had an average of 0.31 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage, popular for refinancing, fell below the 6% mark for the first time since the beginning of March, to 5.96%. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate sank to 6.57%. Adjustable rate mortgages were also in on the act. The average 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage dropped to 6.07% and the average one-year ARM retreated to 5.9%.

Fixed mortgage rates have been falling consistently for the past three months, but posted the biggest decline yet this week after disappointing economic data. A regional economic barometer released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ignited a bond market rally over concerns that the economy was on the verge of a rapid slowdown. This also fueled speculation that the Fed's next move may be to cut rates. The result was a sharp drop government bond yields, particularly the 10-year Treasury note. Fixed mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.

Fixed mortgage rates have dropped notably since the Fed last hiked rates at the end of June. At the time, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.93%, meaning that the monthly payment on a loan of USD 165,000 was USD 1090. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.29%, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of USD 1020.23. Fixed mortgage rates are a compelling refinancing alternative for adjustable rate borrowers facing sharp payment adjustments.


30-year fixed: 6.29% -- down from 6.44% last week (avg. points: 0.31)
15-year fixed: 5.96% -- down from 6.12% last week (avg. points: 0.3)
5/1 ARM: 6.07% -- down from 6.19% 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. Very few panelists see rates rebounding in the coming weeks. Just 20% forecast that rates will rise, while 30% expect rates to fall further. Half of respondents predict that rates will remain 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.

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. In 2005, Bankrate.com had over 46 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 (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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