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Bankrate: Mortgage Rates, Like Fed, Hold Steady

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RISMEDIA, June 27, 2008-Fixed mortgage rates took a breather, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate holding at 6.62%. According to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large lenders, the average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.4 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched lower to 6.19%, while the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate nudged higher to 7.72%. Adjustable mortgage rates moved higher, with the average 1-year ARM rising to 6.27% and the average 5/1 ARM increasing to 6.28%.

After rising one-half percentage point in a three week span, mortgage rates halted the advance this week as investors began to realize that the Fed’s tough talk on inflation would remain just that — talk. While the Federal Open Market Committee has shifted the focus to inflation, any interest rate hike is unlikely in the near term given the weak economic growth and ailing housing market. In the meantime, we can expect more “jawboning” by the Fed as the economic and inflation pictures come into clearer focus. Fixed mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds, and both are heavily influenced by the outlook for the economy and inflation.

Although mortgage rates were unchanged this week, they have been on a wild ride since the beginning of the year. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was as low as 5.57% in January, meaning that a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,144.38. But at today’s rate of 6.62%, a $200,000 loan would mean a monthly payment of $1,279.96.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 6.62% — unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.40)
15-year fixed: 6.19% — down from 6.20% last week (avg. points: 0.40)
5/1 ARM: 6.28% — up from 6.24% last week (avg. points: 0.46)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.

For more information, visit http://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates

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