Mortgage rates showed no clear direction in the Houston area this week.

Benchmark 30-year rate slides in Houston

According to Bankrate’s national survey of large lenders, the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate for the Houston area ticked downwards to 4.09 percent. Down 6 basis points from last week, the local rate was identical to the national average rate. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

For mortgages in this week’s survey, there were an average of 0.36 discount and origination points.

The drop in the 30-year fixed is cause for celebration among those who waited to lock on a rate, as that turned out to be a smart bet.

Monthly payments on a hypothetical $165,000 mortgage fell to $796.32, falling $5.73 from last week, corresponding with the decline in mortgage rates.

Other Houston mortgage types mixed

The average rate for 30-year jumbo mortgages fell this week, down 2 basis points to 4.44 percent. Jumbo mortgages are used for loan amounts above limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency; for the Houston area, that limit is $424,100.

The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 2 basis points, growing to 3.55 percent. Monthly payments on a hypothetical $165,000, 15-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up along with rates, scaling up $1.62 to $1,183.61.

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 ticked upward to 3.58 percent this week, a rise of 2 basis points. The most common variety of variable-rate mortgage, 5/1 ARMs allow homeowners 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 December 13, 2017. Monthly payments are for a $165,000 loan. The jumbo rate is for the minimum jumbo loan amount of $424,100 in the Houston area.
30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM 30-year jumbo
This week’s rate: 4.09% 3.55% 3.58% 4.44%
Change from last week: -0.06 +0.02 +0.02 -0.02
Monthly payment: $796.32 $1,183.61 $748.31 $2,133.76
Change from last week: -$5.73 +$1.62 +$1.85 -$5.02

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.”