Here's a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Jan. 27, 2010.
MortgagesRate: 5.13 percent (30-year fixed) Average Points: 0.49
Mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped 2 basis points, to 5.13 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 -- also dropped 2 basis points, to 4.54 percent.
The average jumbo 30-year fixed rose 6 basis points, to 5.99 percent.
Adjustable-rate mortgages split this week. The one-year adjustable-rate mortgage was unchanged, at 4.92 percent. Meanwhile, the popular 5/1 ARM slid 9 basis points, to 4.54 percent.
Mortgage applications plunged a seasonally adjusted 10.9 percent when compared to a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. For the week ending Jan. 22, refinancing activity sank 15.1 percent, while applications for new purchase fell 3.3 percent.
In other mortgage-related news:
- Home prices fell 0.2 percent in November when compared to October, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index that measures 20 major metro areas across the country. Prices were down 5.3 year over year. However, the November figures marked the third straight month that annual declines did not exceed single digits. Previously, the index had recorded double-digit declines for 20 consecutive months.
- A handful of cities -- Charlotte, N.C.; Las Vegas; Seattle and Tampa, Fla. -- fell to record price lows in November. By contrast, several other cities extended a winning streak of price gains, including San Francisco (eight straight months of gains), San Diego (seven months), Los Angeles (six months) and Phoenix (six months).
- Sales of new homes fell 7.6 percent during December when compared to a month earlier, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales were also down 8.6 percent year over year.
- Overall, new home sales fell 22.9 percent in 2009 when compared to 2008.
- Existing home sales plunged 16.7 percent in December when compared to a month earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, sales were up 15 percent year over year.
- Existing home sales rose 4.9 percent in 2009 when compared to 2008. It was the first annual sales gain since 2005.
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-- Chris Kissell