Interest Rate Roundup for June 16, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 4.71% (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 June 15, 2011.

With interest rates on Treasury bonds rising slightly in the last week, mortgages followed suit and saw their first increase in more than two months.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, considered a bellwether home loan, rose 6 basis points to 4.71 percent from 4.65 percent. It was the first time the 30-year fixed mortgage had increased since the April 6 Bankrate survey.

Other mortgages followed a similar pattern. The 15-year fixed mortgage climbed to 3.86 percent, up 7 basis points. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. Another fixed-rate product, jumbo mortgages, which generally are those for more than $417,000, hit 5.2 percent, up 1 single basis point.

Adjustable-rate mortgages also went higher. The benchmark 5/1 ARM averaged 3.4 percent in the latest Bankrate survey, up from last week's 3.35 percent. With a 5/1 ARM, the rate is fixed for the first five years and adjusted annually thereafter.

The mortgage market often moves in tandem with the rates on federal Treasury securities. In the last week the rates on those securities have risen after weeks of decline.

Mortgage rates can also be driven higher by strong market demand. However, there is still wide evidence that the housing industry remains deeply troubled as the end of the first half of 2011 draws near.

A recent report by Zillow, a real estate market data firm, found that home values fell faster in the first quarter of 2011 than any time since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Zillow said home values were off 3 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter of last year, and were down 8.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. It said home values have fallen 29.5 percent since peaking in June 2006.

The new data led the company to revise its projections downward, now predicting the market bottom will occur next year rather than this year. "With accelerating declines during the first quarter, it is unreasonable to expect home values to return to stability by the end of 2011," said Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist.

-- Gregg Fields




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