Benchmark mortgage rate slides for Thursday

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Mortgage rates moved in different directions today, but one key rate receded. The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked downwards, but the average rate on a 15-year fixed moved higher. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, cruised higher.

Rates for mortgages are constantly changing, but they continue to represent a bargain compared to rates before the Great Recession. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it may make sense to lock if you see a rate you like. Just make sure you shop around first.

RATE SEARCH: Compare mortgage rates in your area now.

30-year fixed mortgages

The average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.14 percent, down 2 basis points from a week ago. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 4.05 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $485.52 for every $100,000 you borrow. That represents a decline of $1.17 over what it would have been last week.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to get a handle on what your monthly payments would be and see the effect of adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

15-year fixed mortgages

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.29 percent, up 1 basis point from a week ago.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $705 per $100,000 borrowed. That’s clearly much higher than the monthly payment would be on a 30-year mortgage at that rate, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much faster.

5/1 ARMs

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.30 percent, adding 4 basis points over the last 7 days.

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

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.30 percent would cost about $438 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could climb hundreds of dollars higher afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

Where rates are headed

To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our Rate Trend Index.

RATE SEARCH: Want to see where rates are right now? See local mortgage rates.

Last updated: March 16, 2017.

Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.

To learn more about the different rate averages Bankrate publishes, see “Understanding Bankrate’s Rate Averages.”

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