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Report: Mortgage rates climb to 4-month high

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Mortgage rates have reached the highest level since September 2012, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumping to 3.67 percent last week, according to analysts with Bankrate Inc.

Since the first week of January, the average 30-year fixed mortgage has risen 0.32 points from 3.58 percent.

According to the research, mortgage rates for other types of home loans also rose during the same time period.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate was modestly higher at 2.92 percent, and the larger jumbo 30-year mortgage increased to 4.10 percent.

Adjustable rate mortgages also inched higher, with the popular five-year loan nosing up to 2.77 percent and the seven-year loan ticking higher to 2.93 percent.

“All the euphoria in the immediate aftermath of the fiscal cliff deal seems bound to give way to renewed concerns as we draw closer to the debt ceiling deadline,” said Kayleen Yates, senior director of Corporate Communications for Bankrate Inc.

“With a contentious debate expected on raising the debt ceiling and much wrangling over spending cuts,” she said in a press release, “the nervousness and uncertainty that is sure to develop will likely help bring bond yields and mortgage rates lower during the first quarter of this year.”

Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.

The last time mortgage rates were above 5 percent was April 2011.

At that time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07 percent – meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate now 3.67 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $917.18, a difference of $165 per month for anyone refinancing now.

The company, which operates the popular online loan rate aggregator www.bankrate.com, calculated the data based on more than 4,800 financial institutions in all 50 states.

Its website provides free rate information to consumers on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, automobile loans, money market accounts, certificates of deposit and banking fees.

Read more from:
Banking, Economy, Finance, Housing, Real Estate
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