Interest Rate Roundup for June 30, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 4.71% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.43 (average points)

As the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a slight strengthening of housing prices for April, mortgage rates also showed a mild uptick in the latest weekly Bankrate survey.

Bankrate's national survey found the typical 30-year fixed-rate mortgage had an interest rate of 4.71 percent this week, up 5 basis points from last week. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

Other fixed-rate mortgages took a similar track. The 15-year fixed mortgage was at 3.86 percent, compared to 3.83 percent a week earlier. An exception was jumbo mortgages, or generally those for more than $417,000, which dropped 2 basis points, settling at 5.21 percent.

The strongest rise was with adjustable-rate mortgages. The 5/1 ARM surged to an average of 3.45 percent, up 9 basis points from last week's 3.36 percent.

Mortgage rates frequently move in the same direction as U.S. Treasury securities, and rates on long-term government bonds rose across the board in the last week.

Although it is too soon to determine if housing has finally hit bottom, according to the S&P/ Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home prices were up just under 1 percent from March to April. However, prices are still several percentage points below where they were in April 2010.

"In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Indices said in a release. But he added that "it is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather." It was the first time in eight months that prices rose.

Washington, D.C., continues to be the only market to post year-over-year gains in home values, with housing prices up 4 percent in the last 12 months, Blitzer said.

-- Gregg Fields




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