Interest Rate Roundup for April 7, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 5.08% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.41 (average points)

Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted April 6, 2011.

As applications for home purchase loans saw a weekly surge, mortgage rates rose in Bankrate's latest weekly survey.

The average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed by 7 basis points to 5.08 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose slightly to an average of 4.27 percent, up 2 basis points from last week. Jumbo fixed mortgages, or generally those for more than $417,000, averaged 5.57 percent, up by 2 basis points from last week.

Rates on adjustable mortgages were down, however. The 5/1 ARM averaged 3.87 percent, a decline of 2 basis points from the week before. With a 5/1 ARM, the interest rate is fixed for five years and adjusted annually thereafter.

Although U.S. home prices remain weak, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association release, applications for home purchase loans rose 6.7 percent. Nevertheless, activity "remains relatively low by historical standards, at levels last seen in 1997," said Michael Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics.

Fratantoni said the increase largely resulted from a 10.3 percent increase in government-backed loans. Borrowers were likely motivated to apply before a scheduled increase in Federal Housing Administration insurance premiums this month, he said.

The higher demand for purchase mortgages was offset by a 6.2 percent decline in refinancing applications, Fratantoni said in the release. With refinancing, the problem is "the pool of borrowers who have both the incentive and the ability to qualify for a refinance continues to shrink," he said.

With purchase loans and refinancing requests combined, there was 2 percent drop in mortgage applications on the week, the MBA survey found.

Find out what your monthly mortgage payment could be using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.

-- Gregg Fields




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