Personal Finance

Most Mortgage Rates Eased Significantly Today

Average mortgage rates declined nearly across the board again today, led by drops of 8 basis point in both the 30-year fixed and 30-year fixed refinance rates. (A basis point equals 1/100 of a percent.) And once again, the 15-year fixed refinance rate changed for the better, easing by 5 basis points for the second straight day. It now sits at 3.04%.

The only exceptions to the many positive changes for would-be borrowers were the ever-so-slight 1 point increases in both the 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and the 5/1 ARM refinance loans.

Here are today's average mortgage rates across the U.S., along with where they stood a month ago.

Mortgage Type Mortgage Rates Today Mortgage Rates 1 Month Ago
30-year fixed jumbo 4.60% 4.38%
30-year fixed 3.84% 3.83%
15-year fixed 3.05% 3.06%
30-year fixed refinance 3.82% 3.83%
15-year fixed refinance 3.04% 3.07%
5/1 ARM 3.20% 3.12%
5/1 ARM refinance 3.30% 3.26%

Data source: Bloomberg. National average rates which may include points.

Current mortgage rates aren't just near historic lows -- many are nearly half what home buyers were subjected to 20 years ago. For some perspective, here are the average mortgage rates from back in May 1997.

Mortgage Type Mortgage Rates May 1997
30-year fixed 7.94%
15-year fixed 7.47%
1-year ARM 5.81%

Data source: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Rates do not include points.

For homeowners shopping for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or an equity loan, the strong housing market across the U.S. continues to work in borrowers' favor. Average HELOC rates eased a basis point to 5.28%, and equity loans remained at 5.27%. Both are slightly below the rates from a month ago, when HELOCs were at 5.30% and equity loans were at 5.29%.

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