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Mortgage rates fall with home sales

NEW YORK, March 2, 2006
Mortgage rates fell, aided by a slower pace of home sales. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped from 6.34 percent to 6.27 percent, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders. The 30-year fixed rate mortgages in this week's survey had an average of 0.34 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate retreated by a similar amount, from 5.99 percent to 5.93 percent, and the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate slumped from 6.53 percent to 6.48 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages declined as well, with the average 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage sliding from 6.08 percent to 6.02 percent, and the average one-year ARM decreasing to 5.65 percent from 5.73 percent last week.

Fixed mortgage rates declined for the second week in a row. Last week it happened after bond investors turned a blind eye toward inflation concerns, appeasing themselves that core inflation was not at troublesome levels. This week, the movement in mortgage rates was dominated by reports on slowing sales of both new and existing homes. Coupled with rising inventories of homes available for sale, the cooling housing market has kept a lid on bond yields and mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds.

Mortgage rates are nearly one-half percentage point higher than six months ago. At the end of August 2005, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.8 percent, meaning that the monthly payment on a loan of $165,000 was $968.14. With the average 30-year fixed rate at 6.27 percent, the same loan would now carry a payment of $1,018.08. Although fixed mortgage rates are higher than six months ago, the increase pales compared to the increases in interest rates and monthly payments facing adjustable rate mortgage borrowers. Fixed mortgage rates remain an attractive refinancing alternative for adjustable rate borrowers.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 6.27% -- down from 6.34% last week (avg. points: 0.34)
15-year fixed: 5.93% -- down from 5.99% last week (avg. points: 0.33)
5/1 ARM: 6.02% -- down from 6.08% last week (avg. points: 0.37)

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/mortgagerates

The survey is complemented by Bankrate's weekly forward-looking Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next 30 to 45 days. This week, two-thirds of panelists predict rates to rebound and move higher. The remaining respondents expect rates to remain unchanged in coming weeks, with no one expecting rates to fall further.

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

About Bankrate, Inc.
Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, a leading Internet consumer banking marketplace. Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. It is the leading aggregator of more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. In 2005, Bankrate.com had over 46 million unique visitors.

Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: TWX), The Wall Street Journal (NYSE: DJ) and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 400 national and state publications. In addition to Bankrate.com, Bankrate, Inc. also owns and operates FastFind, an internet lead aggregator and MMIS/Interest.com, which publishes mortgage guides and financial rates and information.

SOURCE Bankrate, Inc. Web Site: http://www.bankrate.com





 

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