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The jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to a new record low of 4.68 percent, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The average jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.4 discount and origination points.

To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages.

The average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage inched lower to 4.24 percent while the 15-year fixed mortgage held steady at 3.48 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM sliding to 3.18 percent and the 10-year ARM inching down to 3.8 percent.

Mortgage rates are low, but based on the ultra-low levels of benchmark interest rates such as 10-year Treasury notes, mortgage rates could be even lower. Since August, the European debt crisis has pushed the spread between risk-free U.S. government bonds and those of other bonds, such as mortgage-backed bonds, to the highest levels since the spring of 2009. At that time, financial tensions were at a fever pitch, particularly surrounding the health of the U.S. banking system. This time, its Europe’s banking system in the crosshairs, but the result is much the same — a higher-than-typical cost of borrowing when compared to the rock-bottom government rates.

The last time mortgage rates were above 6 percent was Nov. 2008. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 6.33 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,241.86. With the average rate now 4.24 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $982.71, a difference of $259 per month for anyone refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 4.24% –down from 4.25% last week (avg. points: 0.36)

15-year fixed: 3.48% — unchanged from last week (avg. points: 0.31)

5/1 ARM: 3.18% — down from 3.21% last week (avg. points: 0.34)

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 a full analysis of this week’s move in mortgage rates, go to http://www.bankrate.com.

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days. There is no clear consensus, with 46 percent predicting that mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged while 39 percent forecast an increase in mortgage rates. Just 15 percent of the respondents expect mortgage rates to decline in the coming week.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go to http://www.bankrate.com/RTI.

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