Mortgage rates decline again: Fifth straight week of lower rates

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The average cost of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 3.16 percent from 3.20 percent last week, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. This is the fifth week in a row the average 30-year fixed rate decreased.

A year ago, it was 3.55 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 3.32 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.40 percentage points below the 52-week high of 3.56 percent, and is 0.23 percentage points higher than the 52-week low of 2.93 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.32 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 3.18 percent. This week’s rate is 0.02 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was flat at 2.47 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.89 percent from 2.90 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 3.37 percent from 3.40 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $430.28 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $432.47 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $665.38 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, unchanged from last week..

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $415.69 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $416.23 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted May 5, 2021 and the effect on monthly payments for a $165,000 loan:

Weekly national mortgage survey
Breakdown 30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5-year ARM
This week’s rate: 3.16% 2.47% 2.89%
Change from last week: -0.04 N/C -0.01
Monthly payment: $709.97 $1,097.87 $685.90
Change from last week: -$3.60 N/C -$0.88

Where mortgage rates are headed

Mortgage experts were evenly mixed in the rate trend predictions in Bankrate’s survey this week (May 5-11). In response to Bankrate’s weekly poll, 67 percent said rates will remain the same, 22 percent said rates would fall and 11 percent said rates would rise.

“Long-term mortgage rates will remain virtually unchanged. 10-year Treasury yields have been remarkably stable for the last two weeks holding between 1.50 percent and 1.675 percent. This stability should translate into minimal movement in long-term mortgage rates. Mortgage rates should remain virtually unchanged this week holding near historic low,” said Ken H. Johnson, real estate economist, Florida Atlantic University.

Refinances grew more attractive this week

Rates are a cut above the record lows of earlier this year, but still an excellent deal. The rate on 10-year bonds issued by the U.S. government has stayed above 1.5 percent in recent weeks. The 10-year Treasury is closely tied to 30-year mortgage rates.

Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of Realtors, suggests the rate drops in recent weeks may be an anomaly.

“I didn’t expect to see rates go below 3 percent again. But these mortgage rates in the 2 percent range won’t likely last long,” she says. “It’s true that, in the last three weeks, the 10-year Treasury yield and mortgage rates have fallen, even though the economy is growing faster.”

Evangelou believes the economy is at an inflection point, with expected strong growth in hiring ahead thanks to a rise in rates of another kind: increased vaccinations and policy support. For these and other reasons, she anticipates the 30-year mortgage rate to creep up in May, ending at around 3.1 percent before the calendar turns to June.

The bottom line: It may be time to do that refinance sooner rather than later.

The Bankrate.com 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. Our rates differ from other national surveys, in particular Freddie Mac’s weekly published rates. Each week Freddie Mac surveys lenders on the rates and points based on first-lien prime conventional conforming home purchase mortgages with a loan-to-value of 80 percent. “Lenders surveyed each week are a mix of lender types – thrifts, credit unions, commercial banks and mortgage lending companies – is roughly proportional to the level of mortgage business that each type commands nationwide,” according to Freddie Mac.