Interest Rate Roundup for Dec. 30, 2010

Interest Rate Roundup
Mortgage rate graph


  • 5.02% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.44 (average points)

Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Dec. 29, 2010.

Despite evidence that the housing market is weakening yet again, mortgage rates scored increases this week, with the bellwether 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage crossing the 5 percent threshold for the first time in more than seven months.

The latest Bankrate survey found the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose 6 basis points, to 5.02 percent, from a week earlier. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The 30-year fixed was last above 5 percent in Bankrate's May 13 survey, when it stood at 5.07 percent, before beginning a months-long descent that began to reverse in early November, when rates fell to 4.42 percent.

This week's climb was even steeper for 15-year fixed rate mortgages, which popped by 10 basis points to land at 4.39 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages told a similar story, with the 5/1 ARM ascending 8 basis points, to 4 percent.

Jumbo mortgages, which are generally defined as those more than $417,000, carried the highest rates, with 30-year jumbos rising 5 basis points to 5.64 percent.

Although rates have been trending upward since November, housing in much of the country may be enduring a double-dip recession, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.

In October, all 20 of the leading metropolitan areas Case-Shiller tracks witnessed declines in home values compared to September, according to Case-Shiller. Prices in six cities -- Tampa, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Charlotte, N.C.; Miami; Seattle; and Atlanta -- sank to their lowest levels since the housing market began unraveling in 2006.

"The double-dip is almost here, as six cities set new lows for the period since the 2006 peaks," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. "There is no good news in October's report. Home prices across the country continue to fall."

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

-- Gregg Fields




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