Mortgage Rates Sink to 5-Month Low

mortgage ratesJust in time for the spring buying season, mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level in five months, according to a lender survey released this week. This marks the fourth straight week in which mortgage rates have dropped.

The benchmark for conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgages fell to 4.88 percent, down from 4.95 percent last week, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of the 10 largest lenders. Similarly, 15-year fixed sank to 4.05 percent, down from 4.14 percent last week. Variable rate loans were also lower, with 5/1 ARMs slipping to 3.69 percent.
Bankrate attributes the dip to growing investor concern over unemployment and higher gasoline prices, both of which may cut into consumer spending. The uncertainty has investors moving toward "safe-haven" government bonds, which indirectly pushes mortgage rates lower.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was in Nov. 2008, according to Bankrate. At the current average 30-year mortgage rate of 4.88 percent, a $250,000 loan would cost $1,323.78 a month, not including private mortgage insurance or property tax.

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