The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed trended down. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, slid lower.

Mortgage rates showed no clear direction this week. The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held steady, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed trended down. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, slid lower.

The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.62 percent, unchanged from a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.80 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $455.77 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow.

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.12 percent, down 1 basis point from a week ago.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $696 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little tougher to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.31 percent, falling 1 basis point over the last seven days.

These types of loans are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be substantially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.31 percent would cost about $439 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could ratchet higher by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

In the week ahead, 50 percent of the experts predict rates will rise, 10 percent say rates will fall and 40 percent predict rates will remain relatively unchanged (plus or minus 2 basis points).

Michael Becker, a branch manager with Sierra Pacific Mortgage, said, “The coronavirus scare that spooked markets over the last week appears to be waning. Stories reported in the press suggest the worst may be behind us. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but markets have taken it as a good sign, so we will likely see higher Treasury yields and mortgage rates in the coming week.”

Jim Sahnger, a mortgage planner with the C2 Financial Corporation, adds, “A hungry market can eat anything in its path and the equity markets are currently ravenous. In the face of recession concerns, global geopolitical concerns involving trade and the Middle East, Brexit and now the coronavirus, the S&P 500 is up nearly 11 percent since Oct. 1, 2019. The 10-year Treasury, while still down nearly 30 basis points from the beginning of the year, is up 15 basis points from Monday as stocks continue higher…Should reality set in and any of what concerned the markets previously resurface, rates might remain flat or head lower, but until then, err on the side of caution and lock in savings early if applying for a mortgage.”

Mitch Ohlbaum, President of Macoy Capital Partners, believes rates will drop. He said, “With the 10-year Treasury moving lower this entire month and trading at 1.596 percent right now, lenders will feel the pressure to lower rates. In the near past, many national lenders have not been quick to lower rates both to slow the influx of business and to avoid replacing existing loans with lower yielding ones. The market is rallying back after determining that the world economy can withstand any jolt it might feel from the still spreading coronavirus. Additionally, the U.S. economy is still humming along at a solid pace and the bond market is telling the Fed what needs to happen, which is lower rates in the coming months.”

Joel Naroff, President and Chief Economist at Naroff Economics, said, “Rates are flat as the ebb and flow of the coronavirus equals out.”