Friday, October 14, 2011

Mortgages Rise But Refis Still Hold Appeal

Mortgage rates climbed this week after investors became less pessimistic about the financial crisis in Europe and the employment market in the United States. But rates remain near all-time lows and are expected to stay at those levels at the expense of the economy.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 16 basis points this week, to 4.37%, according to the national survey of large lenders. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The mortgages in this week's survey had an average total of 0.4 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index was 4.47%; four weeks ago, it was 4.32%. This is the highest the 30-year fixed has been since Aug. 31, when it was 4.37%.

The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 13 basis points, to 3.59%. The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage rose 15 basis points, to 3.26%, and the jumbo 30-year fixed rose 8 basis points, to 4.9%.

If you missed the boat on locking a rate when rates reached another record low last week, there's no need to lose sleep over this week's increase. It is unlikely rates will continue to rise, and some economists say they expect them to stay low for months to come.

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