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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates Remain in Refinancing Territory


NEW YORK, Dec. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Mortgage rates increased slightly this week, with the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising from 5.81 percent to 5.86 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week's survey had an average 0.38 discount and origination points.

The 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing also inched higher, climbing from 5.14 percent to 5.17 percent. The jumbo 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped 6 basis points to 6.15 percent, while the one-year adjustable rate mortgage dropped 9 basis points to 3.87 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Mortgage rates increased slightly this week as investors continued to pour money into stocks. However, mortgage rates remain incredibly attractive despite the economy's brisk 8.2 percent rate of expansion between July and September, a figure that was confirmed this week. Bond yields and mortgage rates often rise when the economy grows quickly, as investors fear a similar increase in inflation. Mortgage rates are closely tied to the yields on long- term government bonds. But the low inflation outlook continues to keep a lid on interest rates even as the economy expands.

With mortgage rates remaining low, refinancing enables borrowers to trim monthly payments. Four months ago, when the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 6.44 percent, the monthly payment for a $165,000 loan was $1,036.41. With the average rate at 5.86 percent this week, the same size loan would carry a monthly payment of $974.46. The difference in monthly payments of $61.95 amounts to more than $22,300 over the loan term.

                                SURVEY RESULTS

     30-year fixed: 5.86% -- up from 5.81% last week (avg. points: 0.38)
     15-year fixed: 5.17% -- up from 5.14% last week (avg. points: 0.37)
      1-year ARM: 3.87% -- down from 3.96% last week (avg. points: 0.27)

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

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 300 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:
     Michal Jones


     Paula Sirois, PR for Bankrate, Inc.

SOURCE  Bankrate, Inc.

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