Mortgage rates continue to rise this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate climbing to 3.96 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.30 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 3.21 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage hit a 2-month high of 4.11 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 5-year ARM dipping slightly to 3.31 percent and the 7-year ARM inching up to 3.52 percent.
Mortgage rates climbed again as U.S. economic performance has been convincing enough to increase the odds of a June interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Mortgage rates had fallen as the year got under way on concerns over international growth. Those concerns haven't gone away, and in fact have increased with Ukraine and Greece now drawing attention. However, these international concerns are being overshadowed by the increased likelihood of a mid-year Fed interest rate hike. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.
One year ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.48 percent. At that time, a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,011.00. With the average rate now at 3.96 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $950.22, a savings of $61 per month for anyone refinancing now.
30-year fixed: 3.96% -- up from 3.90% last week (avg. points: 0.30) 15-year fixed: 3.21% -- up from 3.17% last week (avg. points: 0.19) 5/1 ARM: 3.31% -- down from 3.32% last week (avg. points: 0.21)
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.
The survey is complemented by Bankrate's weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. Just under half of the panelists, 46 percent, expect mortgage rates to continue to climb. Thirty –one percent forecast that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged, while the remaining 23 percent predict that mortgage rates will pull back over the next week.