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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Stay Flat


NEW YORK, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mortgage rates continue to catch a breath after posting the sharpest run-up in 16 years from late June through early August, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 6.35 percent from 6.37 percent. Before rocketing higher, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage registered 5.31 percent on June 25. The mortgages in this week's survey had an average total of 0.34 discount and origination points.

The 15-year fixed mortgage popular for refinancing declined from 5.72 percent to 5.68 percent, with the jumbo 30-year fixed rate mortgage backpedaling from 6.72 percent to 6.67 percent. The one-year adjustable rate mortgage nudged 3 basis points higher to 4.14 percent. A basis point is one- hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Mortgage rates have been volatile, rising for a couple of days, then retreating in the following days. The expectation of continued economic improvement in the coming weeks and months could restart the trend toward higher mortgage rates.

"External factors such as fears of terrorism are a permanent asterisk to any forecast, but strengthening economic fundamentals will begin to push rates higher," said Bankrate senior financial analyst Greg McBride.

Monthly mortgage payments are largely dependent upon the level of mortgage rates. The monthly payment for a $165,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage on June 25 at 5.31 percent was $917.28, but is $1,026.69 this week at 6.35 percent. The increase of more than $109 per month amounts to more than $39,000 over the term of the loan.

                                SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 6.35% -- down from 6.37% last week (avg. points: 0.34)

15-year fixed: 5.68% -- down from 5.72% last week (avg. points: 0.35) 1-year ARM: 4.14% -- up from 4.11% last week (avg. points: 0.31)

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.

Bankrate supplements its survey by conducting its weekly mortgage Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of experts predicts which way mortgage rates will go in the next 30-45 days. This week, the panel is evenly divided, with 36 percent saying they'll go up, another 36 saying they'll go down. The remainder say they'll stay within 2 basis points of where they are now.

For a full analysis of this week's move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates

To read this week's mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI

About Bankrate, Inc.

Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, the Internet's leading consumer banking marketplace. Bankrate.com averages 4 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore Media Metrix, which ranks Bankrate.com first in unique visitors in the "Financial information and advice" category. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in more than 180 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes and small business finance. It is the leading aggregator of more than 190 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 provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 80 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal (NYSE: DJ) and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 100 national and state publications. The Company's stock is included in the Russell 3000 Index and the Russell 2000 Index.

For more information contact:

Paula Sirois


SOURCE  Bankrate, Inc.

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