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If you’re in the market for a home, you’ll be happy to hear that mortgage rates fell to a 13-month low this week just as home-buying season kicks off.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell this week to 4.49 percent from 4.62 percent, according to Bankrate’s weekly survey of large lenders. A year ago, it was 4.54 percent. Four weeks ago, the rate was 4.54 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate average for this week is 0.61 percentage points below the 52-week high of 5.10 percent, and is the same as the 52-week low of 4.49 percent.

The 30-year fixed mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.34 discount and origination points.

Over the past 52 weeks, the 30-year fixed has averaged 4.74 percent. This week’s rate is 0.25 percentage points lower than the 52-week average.

  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.83 percent from 4.00 percent.
  • The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 4.15 percent from 4.27 percent.
  • The 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage fell to 4.43 percent from 4.54 percent.

At the current 30-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $506.09 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $513.84 last week.

At the current 15-year fixed rate, you’ll pay $731.20 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $739.69 last week.

At the current 5/1 ARM rate, you’ll pay $486.10 each month for every $100,000 you borrow, down from $493.11 last week.

Results of Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders conducted March 13, 2019 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: 4.49% 3.83% 4.15%
Change from last week: -0.13 -0.17 -0.12
Monthly payment: $835.05 $1,206.48 $802.07
Change from last week: -$12.79 -$14.01 -$11.56

Mortgage applications jump, but loan sizes are growing, too

Mortgage applications climbed 2.3 percent from a week ago, but the jump in activity is coming mostly from buyers who can afford pricier homes, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) applications survey for the week ending March 8.

Purchase applications surged 4 percent from the previous week and were 2 percent higher than a year ago. Much of the activity was driven by a 5.5 percent increase in Federal Housing Administration loan applications.

“Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, in a statement.

One notable increase doesn’t bode well for the market: the average loan size hit a record $326,000, the MBA reported. That’s significantly higher than the national median existing-home sales price of $247,500 in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home,” Kan said.

The “Bankrate.com National Average,” or “national survey of large lenders,” is conducted weekly. The results of this survey are quoted in our weekly articles and national media outlets. 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.