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Bankrate: 5th Straight Record Low for Mortgage Rates
added: 2011-09-23

The benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate set a new record for the fifth consecutive week, dropping to 4.29 percent, according to's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.41 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage retreated further to 3.42 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate inched higher to 4.85 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM slipping to 3.05 percent and the 10-year ARM sliding to 3.72 percent, both record lows.

The streak of record low mortgage rates looks to continue. The Federal Reserve has taken direct aim at mortgage rates, announcing plans to shift $400 billion from short-term holdings into long-term government bonds, and by reinvesting principal payments on some bonds into mortgage-backed securities. In doing so, the Fed aims to push mortgage rates still lower and keep them there over the next six to nine months. However, in order to get the most economic impact out of low mortgage rates, the pool of prospective refinancers needs to be expanded. Deeply upside-down homeowners, those with second liens or mortgage insurance, and lender concerns about buyback liability are all formidable impediments to refinancing.

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 4.29 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $988.57, a difference of $253 per month for anyone refinancing now.


30-year fixed: 4.29% - down from 4.32% last week (avg. points: 0.41)

15-year fixed: 3.42% - down from 3.44% last week (avg. points: 0.31)

5/1 ARM: 3.05% - down from 3.07% last week (avg. points: 0.40)


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