I'm Greg McBride, chief analyst with Bankrate.com, and here is your weekly look at mortgage rates.
Mortgage rates fell for the fifth week in a row and the seventh time in the past eight weeks, falling to an 11-month low. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now 4.25 percent, the lowest since June 19 of last year.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate slumped to 3.35 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate stepped back to 4.29 percent.
Adjustable-rate mortgages were mixed, with the five-year ARM rising to 3.24 percent, the seven-year ARM holding at 3.45 percent and the 10-year ARM sliding further to 3.77 percent.
One year ago, mortgage rates were on the rise after then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hinted at the eventual tapering of Fed stimulus. Now, with the Fed taper well underway and poised to continue, mortgage rates are in the midst of a steady retreat. Why?
A number of factors come into play: disappointing U.S. economic growth at the start of 2014; slower growth in emerging markets; the prospect of European stimulus measures; and geopolitical issues around the globe, to name a few. But the bottom line is this -- any time investors get nervous, whatever the reason, it tends to be good news for mortgage shoppers.
Regardless of where rates are, or which direction they may be moving, it is always important to shop around for the best mortgage terms. To find the lowest mortgage rates in your area, use the free search engine at Bankrate.com.
I'm Greg McBride.