Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan crisis, Fed send mortgage rates down

Mortgage interest rates dipped again this week, driven lower by world crises and Tuesday's statement from the Federal Reserve. The lower rates presented an opportunity, however brief, for home-loan borrowers, given a general sense that rates should be on the rise as the U.S. economy improves
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 13 basis points to 4.91 percent, according to the national survey of large lenders. The last time it was below 5 percent was Jan. 27. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The mortgages in the survey had an average total of 0.38 discount and origination points. A year ago, the mortgage index was 5.07 percent. Four weeks ago, it was 5.16 percent.
The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped as well, losing 20 basis points to hit 4.12 percent, while the benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell 14 basis points to 3.74 percent

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