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Mortgage rates hit record low

NEW YORK  — Mortgage rates continue to drop this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 4.96 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.50 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/

The average 15-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.34 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate dropped to 5.75 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 3-year ARM slipped to 4.38 percent while the 5-year ARM dipped to 4.14 percent.

Mortgage rates established new record lows as global economic angst continues to fuel demand for ultra-safe U.S. government debt. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term Treasury securities. While rates for both adjustable and fixed mortgage rates are hitting record lows, the risk of higher interest rates in future years highlights the value of today’s record low, sub 5-percent fixed mortgage rates.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was November 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 4.96 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $1,068.76, a savings of $173 per month for a homeowner refinancing now.

                                  SURVEY RESULTS

       30-year fixed: 4.96% -- down from 5.07% last week (avg. points: 0.50)
       15-year fixed: 4.34% -- down from 4.45% last week (avg. points: 0.48)
          5/1 ARM: 4.14% -- down from 4.27% last week (avg. points: 0.35)

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 Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. Over half of the panelists, 52 percent, don’t expect much change in mortgage rates and forecast that rates will be more or less unchanged over the next week. The remaining panelists are split down the middle with 24 percent predicting an increase in mortgage rates, and 24 percent foreseeing further declines over the next seven days.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI

About Bankrate, Inc.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on 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 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) , America Online (NYSE:AOL) , The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) . Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers. Bankrate, Inc. was acquired by Apax Partners, one of the world’s leading private equity investment groups, in September 2009. Apax operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. For more information on Apax, visit: www.Apax.com.


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