Interest Rate Roundup

Here's a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Sept. 16, 2009.


Rate: 5.38 percent (30-year fixed) Average Points: 0.32

Mortgage rates mostly remained stable this week, although rates on jumbo mortgages skyrocketed.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged down 2 basis points, to 5.38 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Meanwhile, this week's average 15-year fixed-rate -- a popular option for refinancing -- slipped 3 basis points, to 4.72 percent.

The average jumbo 30-year fixed jumped 21 basis points, to 6.6 percent.

Adjustable-rate mortgages split this week. The one-year adjustable-rate mortgage edged down 1 basis point, to 5.26 percent. Meanwhile, the popular 5/1 ARM remained unchanged, at 4.89 percent.

Mortgage applications fell a seasonally adjusted 8.6 percent when compared to a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

For the week ending Sept. 11, applications for new purchase plunged 10.3 percent. Refinancing activity sank 7.4 percent.

In other mortgage news:

  • Homebuilder confidence rose in September to a reading of 19, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index. The 1-point rise marks the third straight month of rising sentiment.

    An index reading below 50 indicates the number of builders who view sales conditions as poor exceeds the number of builders who believe sales conditions are positive. The index is now at its highest level since May 2008.

  • International buyers are less interested in U.S. real estate in the wake of the global recession and credit crunch, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Twenty-three percent of U.S. Realtors surveyed by NAR said they had served at least one international client in the 12 months ending in May 2009, down from 26 percent in last year's study.

    The NAR also reported that nearly half of all foreign buyers are now purchasing U.S. homes with cash.

To find and compare mortgage rates in your area, visit Bankrate's interactive search tool.

-- Chris Kissell



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