The average rate you'll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.04 percent, down 11 basis points over the last seven days. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.24 percent.

Multiple closely watched mortgage rates dropped this week. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both tapered off. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, the most popular type of variable rate mortgage, also sunk lower.

The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.04 percent, down 11 basis points over the last seven days. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.24 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $423.76 for every $100,000 you borrow. Compared with last week, that’s $5.98 lower.

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.68 percent, down 7 basis points from a week ago.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $675 per $100,000 borrowed. Yes, that payment is much bigger than it would be on a 30-year mortgage, 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 3.28 percent, ticking down 2 basis points over the last 7 days.

These loan types 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 3.28 percent would cost about $437 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.

This week, 57 percent of the experts on Bankrate's panel predict rates will fall, while 43 percent of the experts foresee rates holding steady. None of them expect rates to rise, especially with COVID-19 running out of control in most of the country.

Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst with Bankrate.com, said, “The virus spread continues to threaten the pace of economic recovery, keeping a downward influence on rates.”

Dick Lepre, a senior loan officer at RPM Mortgage, Inc., adds, “The Treasury techs are bullish (higher prices, lower rates). What we have at present in the U.S. is a deflationary gap. A deflationary gap is the difference between potential and actual GDP. The economy is akin to an overstocked store with too few customers. The appropriate correction is lower prices. This downward pressure on inflation should drive Treasury yields and mortgage rates lower. According to the World Bank, 92.9 percent of the world’s economies are contracting. The previous high was 83.8 percent during the Great Depression. A synchronous recession of this scale has never happened before. In 2020, global GDP per capita will experience its largest decline since 1945. While media emphasizes how bad things are in the U.S., the fact is that things are worse elsewhere. We will continue to see flight-to-quality buying of U.S. Treasury debt and GSE debt. This is likely to persist through most of 2021.”

Elizabeth Rose, sales manager at AmCap Mortgage, notes, “Mortgage bonds have broken out of the sideways pattern of recent weeks and have improved. The health crisis continues to influence the direction of mortgage bonds. I see a little improvement from here before bonds meet up with a tough ceiling and would likely be pushed back down. This is a time to be careful; the improvement could be very short lived.”

Believing rates will stay the same, Gordon Miller, owner of the Miller Lending Group, LLC, said, “Another exciting Fed meeting - if you like watching paint dry. Nothing new to impact mortgage rates short term so we should likely stay in a narrow range of rates moving forward.”

Jennifer Kouchis, a senior vice president at VyStar Credit Union, says, “Rates have made some slight moves both up and down in the past week, but with the Treasury holding steady amid the Fed’s meeting, I don’t expect to see much more movement then we’ve already seen either way. Additionally, there hasn’t been any substantial updates in regards to the pandemic, which is a driving force when it comes to the market and mortgage rates.”