A number of closely-watched mortgage rates slid down in the Boston area this week.

Benchmark 30-year rate falls in Boston

According to Bankrate’s national survey of large lenders, the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate for the Boston area slid to 3.96 percent. The local rate was down 1 basis point from last week, and was less than the national average rate of 4.04 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

This week, the mortgages averaged 0.22 discount and origination points.

The drop in the 30-year fixed spells good news for those who waited to lock on a rate, as their decision paid off.

Monthly payments on a hypothetical $165,000 mortgage fell to $783.94, falling $0.95 from last week, corresponding with the dip in mortgage rates.

No clear direction for other Boston mortgage types

The average rate for 30-year jumbo mortgages fell this week, down 3 basis points to 3.97 percent. Jumbo mortgages are used for loan amounts above limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency; for the Boston area, that limit is $598,000.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages ticked upward to 3.21 percent, up 1 basis point from last week. Monthly payments on a hypothetical $165,000, 15-year fixed-rate mortgage followed rates higher, rising $0.80 to $1,156.20.

Because the 15-year fixed is a popular mortgage for homeowners who want to refinance, the increase means that a refi is less profitable than it would have been before the rate rise.

The popular 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rate slid to 3.46 percent this week, a drop of 3 basis points. The most common variety of variable-rate mortgage, 5/1 ARMs allow property owners to pay a fixed rate for the first 5 years, and the rate adjusts once per year every year after.

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Weekly mortgage survey

Results from Bankrate’s survey of mortgage lenders conducted October 18, 2017. Monthly payments are for a $165,000 loan. The jumbo rate is for the minimum jumbo loan amount of $598,000 in the Boston area.
30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM 30-year jumbo
This week’s rate: 3.96% 3.21% 3.46% 3.97%
Change from last week: -0.01 +0.01 -0.03 -0.03
Monthly payment: $783.94 $1,156.20 $737.24 $2,844.61
Change from last week: -$0.95 +$0.80 -$2.75 -$10.31

Methodology: The “Bankrate.com National Average,” or “national survey of large lenders,” is conducted weekly. To conduct the National Average survey, Bankrate obtains rate information from the 10 largest banks and thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets. In the Bankrate.com national survey, our Market Analysis team gathers rates and/or yields on banking deposits, loans and mortgages. We’ve conducted this survey in the same manner for more than 30 years, and because it’s consistently done the way it is, it gives an accurate national apples-to-apples comparison.

To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s Rate Averages.”