Mortgage rates for Dec. 8, 2011



I'm Greg McBride, senior financial analyst with 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

I'm Greg McBride.



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