Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted May 19, 2010.
MortgagesRate: 4.96 percent (30-year fixed) Average Points: 0.5
Mortgage rates hit a new record low in the Bankrate survey.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plunged 11 basis points, to 4.96 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. The new rate is the lowest in the nearly 25-year history of the weekly Bankrate survey.
Meanwhile, this week's average 15-year fixed-rate -- a popular option for refinancing -- also dropped 11 basis points, to 4.34 percent. That, too, is an all-time record low in the Bankrate survey.
The average jumbo 30-year fixed dropped 10 basis points, to 5.75 percent.
Adjustable-rate mortgages fell, as well. The one-year adjustable-rate mortgage edged down 2 basis points, to 4.89 percent. Meanwhile, the popular 5/1 ARM fell 13 basis points, to 4.14 percent. That's a record low since Bankrate began its 5/1 ARM survey in January 2005.
Mortgage applications slipped a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent when compared to a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. For the week ending May 14, applications for new purchase plunged 27.1 percent, but refinancing activity jumped 14.5 percent.
In other mortgage-related news, housing starts rose 5.8 percent in April when compared to March. Starts were also up 40.9 percent year over year.
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-- Chris Kissell