30-Year Mortgage Rates Remain Under 5%

Author: Sol Nasisi on March 26, 2010

Average the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates moved up 3 basis points last week from 4.96% to 4.99% according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey. The BestCashCow mortgage averages actually declined slightly falling from 4.96% to 4.95%. Either way, both averages show mortgage rates under 5%.

Averages though won't get you a mortgage and I like to check and see what rate is actually available. Since I live in Massachusetts I checked Massachusetts mortgage rates. Below I compared the best rate I could find on a $200,000 30-year fixed rate mortgage with 0 points:

                                              This Week             Last Week

Rate:                                          4.875%                 4.750%

Points:                                            0                             0

Fees:                                           $1,995               $1,995

For the first time in seven weeks, the top rate rose, moving from 4.750% to 4.875%. We'll see if this trend continues.

Despite the discussion of the Fed ending its program to keep mortgage rates low, rates have moved very little over the past few weeks. Will they move up in the future? I explore this a bit in an article entitled Will Mortgage Rates Rise When the Fed MBS Program Ends? The bottom line seems to be yes, but not as much as people once feared.

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Other mortgage averages also showed movement. While the 15-year FRM only moved up one basis point from 4.33% to 4.34%, the 5-year ARM rose 5 basis points from 4.09% to 4.14%. The much more volatile 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM rose from 4.12% to 4.20%.

Here's what Freddie Mac had to say about the rate situation:

“Mortgage rates inched up slightly this week as bond yields rose even further,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.  “Interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages, however, were still below 5 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

“Household debt burdens on aggregate continue to improve through the end of 2009.  The Federal Reserve reported that the financial obligations for homeowners declined to under 16.1 percent of their disposable income in the fourth quarter, which represents the lowest share since the third quarter of 2003. Similarly, the obligations share for renters fell below 24.4 percent, the lowest since the end of 1993.”

Mortgage rates continue to move in a tight range. As the chart shows, they've gone mostly sidways since September of 2009. Many analysts are predicting rates will rise, but we have yet to see any indication of that.

Use the BestCashCow rate tables to find the best mortgage rates in your area.

Sol Nasisi
Sol Nasisi: Sol Nasisi is the co-founder and a past president of BestCashCow, an online resource for comprehensive bank rate information. In this capacity, he closely followed rate trends for all savings-related and loan products and the impact of rate fluctuations on the economy. He specifically focused on how rates impact consumers' ability to borrow and save. He also has authored a wee

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