- 4.97% (30-year fixed)
- 0.44 (average points)
Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Jan. 26, 2011.
Mortgage rates were little changed this week, with the bellwether 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbing a bit but remaining below the 5 percent threshold. Yet, the stock market appeared to take some comfort in a rare bit of good news regarding housing.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed 2 basis points, to 4.97 percent, according to the latest Bankrate survey. The rise was also 2 basis points for 30-year jumbo mortgages, or generally those for more than $417,000. They averaged 5.53 percent this week.
But two other benchmark mortgages declined. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined 1 basis point, dropping to 4.28 percent. And the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell 2 basis points, to 3.84 percent.
In a move that hasn't been seen in years, an optimistic statistic regarding the housing market was credited with boosting stock prices on Wednesday.
The Commerce Department said December's new-home purchases were 17.5 percent higher than November's. The news wasn't all good, however. Despite the strong one-month jump, new-home sales for all of 2010 fell to the lowest level on records going back 47 years.
Meanwhile, a new Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks prices in 20 major metropolitan areas, found housing prices slid 1 percent between October and November. The index was off 1.6 percent from a year ago.
The numbers suggest "a double dip could be confirmed before spring," says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's. By that, he means prices will fall below their April 2009 lows, before the recession ended.
Find out what your monthly mortgage payment could be using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.-- Gregg Fields