Mortgage rates down this week after soft economic data reports

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Mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate retreating to 3.91 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.27 discount and origination points.

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

The average 15-year fixed mortgage dropped to 3.15 percent while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage settled at 4.00 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the 5-year ARM sinking to 3.20 percent and the 7-year ARM sliding to 3.39 percent.         

Mortgage rates pulled back following soft economic data on manufacturing, home construction, and consumer spending. Even though the Federal Reserve continues to lay the groundwork for the eventuality of interest rate hikes, any evidence of economic softness only pushes the timetable further out. Both bond yields and mortgage rates have moved lower as expectations on the timing of interest rate hikes are tempered. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.

One year ago, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.46 percent. At that time, a$200,000loan would have carried a monthly payment of$1,008.62. With the average rate now at 3.91 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be$944.48, a savings of$64per month for anyone refinancing now.  

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 3.91% -- down from 3.97% last week (avg. points: 0.27)

15-year fixed: 3.15% -- down from 3.18% last week (avg. points: 0.19)

5/1 ARM: 3.20% -- down from 3.23% last week (avg. points: 0.21)

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 tohttp://www.bankrate.com/mortgagerates.

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 this week, with 42 percent of the panelists expecting mortgage rates to fall further in the next week, while one-third predict mortgage rates will remain more or less unchanged. The remaining 25 percent forecast an increase in mortgage rates during the coming week.

For the full mortgage Rate Trend Index, go tohttp://www.bankrate.com/news/rate-trends/mortgage.aspx.

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