RISMEDIA, January 21, 2011—Mortgage rates showed little movement this week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate nosing higher to 4.95 percent according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.4 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage held at 4.29 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate fell for the third week in a row to 5.51 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM dipping to 3.86 percent and the 7-year ARM falling to 4.19 percent.
Fixed mortgage rates have shown very little movement over the past month and are essentially unchanged since the first of the year. But the disparity between fixed and adjustable rates has grown significantly in the last six months, with fixed rates having moved higher while adjustable rates moved lower.
Some of the hybrid adjustable rate products, like the 5/1 ARM and the 7/1 ARM, now represent compelling value for borrowers that have ample equity and don't expect to be in the house more than a handful of years or so. But this strategy isn't without risk, as the rates will eventually begin annual adjustments. The inability to sell the home, or a change in circumstances, could throw a wrench into those plans. But a homeowner moving on before the first adjustment enjoys a low fixed rate without the worry of upward movements.
The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At that time, the average 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 4.95 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,067.54, a savings of $174 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.