Mortgage rates for May 17, 2012


I'm Greg McBride with and here is your weekly look at mortgage rates.

Mortgage rates declined for the 7th time in the past 8 weeks, and set a new record for the 4th consecutive week. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate broke a key threshold, falling below the 4 percent mark for the first time ever, to 3.97 percent. The larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate mortgage also reached a new low of 4.52 percent. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage - popular for refinancing - held at the record low of 3.2 percent.

Adjustable mortgages were mixed. The 1-year adjustable slipped to 3.11 percent while the 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year adjustable were each a bit higher, to 3.11 percent, 3 percent, and 3.49 percent, respectively.

The ongoing European debt crisis is producing another flight to quality. In a flight to quality, investors gravitate to safe haven investments such as U.S. Treasuries. Mortgage rates, which are closely related to yields on U.S. Treasuries, have been direct beneficiaries, falling to new lows.

Whether you're buying a home or refinancing the one you already own, it is important to shop around for the best deal. To find the lowest mortgage rates in your area, use the free search engine at

I'm Greg McBride.



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