mortgage

Mortgage rates for Aug. 21, 2014

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

Mortgage rates moved lower for a second consecutive week, and although the movement was pretty slight, it was enough to bring the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate to a 14-month low of 4.24 percent. Other fixed-rate products were lower, too, with the 15-year fixed a touch lower to 3.37 percent and the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate sinking to 4.29 percent. Both are three-month lows.

Adjustable mortgage rates were also lower, with the five-year ARM slipping to 3.28 percent and the seven-year ARM stepping down to 3.49 percent. These are also the lowest since late May.

Muted inflation readings and ongoing tensions in hot spots around the globe helped fuel demand for bonds, pushing mortgage rates lower. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds, and any time there is reason for nervousness among investors, their movement into the perceived safe haven of bonds is good news for mortgage rates. Low inflation has also been a boon for bond demand and mortgage rates because inflation erodes the fixed payments bondholders receive.

Whether mortgage rates are low or high, moving up or moving down, you still need to shop around to get the best deal. 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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