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Mortgage Rates Tie a Record Low

RISMEDIA, January 16, 2009-Mortgage rates fell for the third week in a row, tying a record low last seen in 2003. According to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 5.28% with an average of 0.42 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage inched higher to 4.89% and the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate jumped to 7.07%. Adjustable rate mortgages were lower, with the average 5/1 ARM retreating to 5.51%.

Mortgage rates continued their decline amid dour economic reports and the Federal Reserve’s ongoing program of mortgage bond purchases. The only other time the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was this low was during the June 2003 refinancing mania. Similarly, today’s low rates have produced a flurry of refinancing activity and the likelihood of rates remaining low at least through the first half of the year is promising for potential home buyers as well.

Lower mortgage rates have opened the door to refinancing for homeowners with equity. Three months ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.74%, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,295.87. With the average rate having since fallen to 5.28%, the monthly payment on a $200,000 loan is now $1,108.13.

Survey Results

30-year fixed: 5.28% — down from 5.33% last week (avg. points: 0.42)
15-year fixed: 4.89% — up from 4.85% last week (avg. points: 0.44)
5/1 ARM: 5.51% — down from 5.72% last week (avg. points: 0.44)

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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