Interest Rate Roundup for Nov. 24, 2010

Interest Rate Roundup
Mortgage rate graph


  • 4.58% (30-year fixed)
  • 0.40 (average points)

Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Nov. 23, 2010.

Homebuyers got a little added incentive to give thanks this week, as mortgage rates receded a bit from last week's sharp run-up in rates.

Bankrate's national survey found the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was priced at 4.58 percent this week, down four basis points from 4.62 percent last week. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

The pre-Thanksgiving decline was a sharp contrast to last week, when that 4.62 percent rate represented a steep gain of 16 basis points, sending home loans to their highest level in months.

Other mortgage products followed a similar pattern this week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage declined five basis points, to 3.97 percent, after climbing 18 basis points last week to 4.02 percent.

Adjustable rates also took a holiday dip, with the popular 5/1 ARM declining five basis points, to 3.66 percent from 3.71 percent.

Bankrate's national survey showed drops in other consumer loan rates, such as those for new and used autos.

The drop in rates could be attributable to the Federal Reserve's so-called "quantitative easing" program, or QE2, which is designed to inject cash into banks. The effect is expected to be downward pressure on long-term interest rates, and the Fed's stated belief is that banks will also increase lending and give the fledgling recovery some added momentum.

Nevertheless, the housing market remains troubled by most measures. On Tuesday, the National Association of Realtors reported that October home sales were off by 26 percent from October 2009, falling to 4.43 million from 6 million a year ago. In some parts of the country, sales were at their lowest levels in 20 or more years.

Analysts said the expiration of a federal tax credit on home sales is one reason for the decline. Also, the housing market is glutted with foreclosed homes. Legal controversies over the foreclosure practices of banks have hit housing with a double whammy: Some banks have slowed or halted foreclosure sales, while many potential buyers are cautious about proceeding until the legal issues are resolved.

Find out monthly mortgage payments using Bankrate's mortgage calculator.

-- Gregg Fields




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