Interest Rate Roundup for May 12, 2011

Interest Rate Roundup
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  • 4.82% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.4 (average points)

Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted May 11, 2011.

The latest Bankrate survey found that mortgage rates of nearly all varieties declined in the last week, while the latest quarterly survey from the National Association of Realtors suggested continuing weakness in the overall housing market.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 6 basis points to an average of 4.82 percent, Bankrate's survey found. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. Another popular loan, the fixed-rate 15-year mortgage, dropped 5 basis points to an even 4 percent.

With adjustable mortgages, the bellwether 5/1 ARM declined 4 basis points to a national average of 3.52 percent. With a 5/1 ARM, the rate is fixed for five years and adjusted annually thereafter. With jumbo mortgages, or generally those for more than $417,000, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 5.26 percent, down 10 basis points.

In its quarterly report, the National Association of Realtors, or NAR, said existing-home sales were up 8.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. However, sales were down a bit less than 1 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

The NAR said 34 of the 152 surveyed metro areas had higher median prices for existing single-family homes in the first quarter. However, in 118 metro areas, housing prices fell over the last year, according to the NAR.

Nationally, the median existing single-family home price was $158,700 in the first quarter, down from $166,400 a year earlier. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement that the rise in sales from the fourth quarter "is a part of the healing process to clear off inventory. Sales need to rise before prices can firm up."

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

-- Gregg Fields




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