Interest Rate Roundup for March 31, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 5.01% (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 March 30, 2011.

Mortgage rates climbed from last week's levels, even as the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed the deterioration in U.S. home prices persisted into January and appears set to continue.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 5.01 percent, up 5 basis points from the previous week's 4.96 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

A similar pattern was seen in 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, where the average was 4.25 percent, an increase of 9 basis points, according to Bankrate's latest national survey. With jumbo mortgages, or generally those over $417,000, the average was 5.55 percent, up 10 basis points.

With adjustable mortgages, the 5/1 ARM climbed to 3.89 percent, a hike of 11 basis points from the previous week's 3.78 percent.

The strengthening of mortgages came against a continuing saga of drooping home values. The Case-Shiller Index, measuring prices in 20 major metropolitan areas, was down 3.1 percent in January compared to the same month in 2010. The latest index was released this week.

Among the major cities, only two cities saw their price index rise over the last 12 months. San Diego was up by 0.1 percent, while Washington, D.C., had an annual increase of 3.6 percent.

In four urban areas -- Cleveland, Atlanta, Detroit and Las Vegas -- prices are now below January 2000 levels, said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at Standard & Poor's.

"Keeping with the trends set in late 2010, January brings us weakening home prices with no real hope in sight for the near future," Blitzer said in a prepared statement. "The housing market recession is not yet over, and none of the statistics are indicating any form of sustained recovery."

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

-- Gregg Fields




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