Several mortgage interest rates taper off

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Several benchmark mortgage rates have tapered off this week. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both receded. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, remains steady.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.04 percent, a decrease of 3 basis points from a week ago. Last month on the 10th, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.06 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $423.76 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $1.63 lower compared with last week.

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 2.51 percent, down 11 basis points from a week ago.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $667 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 come out several thousand dollars ahead over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.04 percent, unchanged over the last week.

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

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.04 percent would cost about $424 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

This week, 50 percent of the experts on Bankrate's panel predict rates will fall while 30 percent expect rates to remain the same and 20 percent think rates will rise.

Ken H. Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, said, “Long-term mortgage rates will move up slightly. 10-year Treasuries are nearing the nine-handle (.89 percent), a rate that has not been seen in a while. The last time we saw rates above the nine-handle was back in June when Freddie Mac was quoting 30-year rates at 3.2 percent. This is bad news for long-term mortgage rates, which should climb slightly this week in response to the upward movement in 10-year Treasuries yields.

Michael Becker, a branch manager at Sierra Pacific Mortgage, said, “It’s been famously said that ‘elections have consequences.’ One of the consequences is how markets react to election results. Last week markets and most polls and prognosticators were expecting a blue wave of Democratic victories. This was seen as leading to a large stimulus package being passed and bond markets were ramping up their inflation expectations as result. When inflation expectations increase, bonds sell off and bond yields and mortgage rates rise. It looks like the markets and prognosticators were wrong and bonds are rallying because of this.”

Elizabeth Rose. A sales manager at AmCap Mortgage, adds, “Rates will be lower (improve). The week ahead should be interesting. Currently, stocks are rallying with the big push coming from tech stocks. Stocks like seeing the split congress. Mortgage bonds are also in a big rally mode – with prices surging higher, which pushes rates lower.”

Joel Naroff, President and chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors, said, “The virus rules as people start focusing on the future, not the election.”