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Mortgage rates drifted downward in a week in which minutes of the most recent Fed meeting loomed large.
The Federal Reserve dropped the week's biggest bit of economic news when it released the minutes of its most recent monetary policy meeting. It seemed to hint that the Fed could increase short-term interest rates as early as its next meeting, in mid-March.
"In discussing the outlook for monetary policy over the period ahead, many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the Federal funds rate again fairly soon" if employment and inflation continue to rise, the Fed minutes said.
That implies that the central bank remains on track to raise the short-term Federal funds rate three times this year, as it forecast in December. Fed rate hikes don't always lead to higher mortgage rates. But this time around, the consensus among economists and investors is that Fed rate increases will be accompanied by rising mortgage rates.
Bankrate's benchmark mortgage rate survey is conducted on Wednesdays, and the data had been collected by the time the Fed minutes were released Wednesday afternoon.
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Mortgage rates this week
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.29 percent from 4.35 percent, according to Bankrate's weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 3.80 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.32 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.06 percentage points below the 52-week high of 4.35 percent, and is 0.77 percentage points greater than the 52-week low of 3.52 percent.
The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week's survey had an average total of 0.29 discount and origination points.
Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.84 percent. This week's rate is 0.45 percentage points higher than the 52-week average.
- The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.48 percent from 3.51 percent.
- The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.45 percent from 3.51 percent.
- The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.28 percent from 4.34 percent.
At the current 30-year fixed rate, you'll pay $494.28 for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $497.81 last week.
At the current 15-year fixed rate, you'll pay $713.90 for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $715.37 last week.
At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you'll pay $446.26 for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $449.60 last week.
Weekly national mortgage survey
|This week's rate:||4.29%||3.48%||3.45%|
|Change from last week:||-0.06||-0.03||-0.06|
|Change from last week:||-$5.82||-2.43||-$5.52|