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Mortgage Rates Radar: Fixed mortgage rates hit 2014 lows

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Rates on the most popular types of mortgages eased down and continued to confound expectations, according to HSH.com's Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by seven basis points (0.07 percent) to 4.31 percent, a new low for 2014. Conforming 5/1 Hybrid ARM rates decreased by just two basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.14 percent.

Global concerns aid U.S. mortgage shoppers

"The investor rush into stocks has cooled for the moment, and there are plenty of other concerns to keep markets on the defensive," said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. "Although the U.S. economy seems to be picking up some momentum, the effects of slower growth in China and the unstable situation in Ukraine are all contributing to the ongoing bid for Treasury debt, driving yields down and pulling mortgage rates down too."

Fixed mortgage rates have largely been range bound since last November, but have been holding closer to the bottom of this range over the past month. This has occurred despite an improving outlook for the domestic economy after a weak first quarter.

Mortgage rates defy economic improvement

"Interest rates are moving lower even after April's strong employment report and additional data showing an improving manufacturing sector," adds Gumbinger. "It's unlikely that the economy and rates can continue to move in opposite directions indefinitely, and I'm beginning to wonder if there might be some pressure on rates building that might result in an abrupt rather than gradual upward move before too long."

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending May 06, according to HSH.com: 

HSH.com Mortgage Rates Radar - Four Week Trend

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   4.31 percent
  • Average points: 0.15

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average rate:   3.14 percent
  • Average points: 0.08

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending April 29 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   4.38 percent
  • Average Points: 0.16

Conforming 5/1-year adjustable-rate mortgage

  • Average Rate:   3.16 percent
  • Average Points: 0.08

Methodology

The Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar reports the average rates and points offered on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and conforming 5/1 ARMs. The weekly mortgage rate survey covers a large sample of mortgage lenders and is conducted over a Wednesday-to-Tuesday cycle, with data released every Wednesday. HSH.comís survey helps consumers find the best rates on home loans in changing market conditions. Unlike mortgage rate surveys that report average rates only, the Weekly Mortgage Rates Radarís inclusion of both average rates and average points provides a more accurate view of mortgage terms currently offered by lenders.

Every week, HSH.com conducts a survey of mortgage rate data for a wide range of consumer mortgage products including ARMs, FHA-backed and jumbo mortgages, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit from hundreds of direct lenders in the U.S. For information on additional loan products, visit HSH.com.

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