mortgage

Mortgage rates for Dec. 8, 2011

 

 

I'm Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with Bankrate.com and here is your weekly look at mortgage rates.

On large jumbo mortgages, the average 30-year fixed rate fell to another record low of 4.68 percent. But on the fixed rate mortgages for us common folks, the rates were little changed. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate ticked down to 4.24 percent while the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate held at 3.48 percent. Even the movement on adjustable mortgage rates was fairly sedate, with the 5/1 adjustable falling to 3.18 percent and the 7/1 adjustable down to 3.36 percent.

Yes, mortgage rates are low. But based on the ultra-low levels of benchmark interest rates, mortgage rates could be even lower. Why aren't they? Since August, the European debt crisis has pushed the spread between risk-free U.S. government bonds and those of other bonds, such as mortgage-backed bonds, to the highest levels since the spring of 2009. At that time, financial tensions were at a fever pitch particularly surrounding the health of the U.S. banking system. This time, its Europe's banking system in the crosshairs, but the result is much the same - a higher than typical cost of borrowing when compared to the rock-bottom government rates.

To find the lowest mortgage rates in your area, use the free search engine at Bankrate.com.

I'm Greg McBride.

 

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