There was little movement in mortgage interest rates as tracked by Freddie Mac and Bankrate.com during the past week.
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.56 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending February 21, compared with last week's average of 3.53 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.95 percent.
The 15-year FRM averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.8 point -- the same as last week. A year ago at this time, it averaged 3.19 percent.
Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARM) averaged 2.64 percent this week with an average 0.5 point -- the same as last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 percent.
The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.65 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up four basis points from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.73 percent.
"Mortgage rates have been relatively stable, hovering near record lows, for the past four weeks which is helping to spur new home construction,” according to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “For instance, new construction on single-family houses rose to an annualized rate of 613,000 in January, the most since July 2008. In addition, single-family building permits were up to the highest issuance level since June 2008."
Bankrate's read on mortgage rates showed little movement. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate inched up one basis point to 3.80 percent,with an average of 0.33 discount and origination points.
The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate was unchanged this week at 3.02 percent. The average jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate was up two basis points -- to 4.21 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were mixed, with the 5-year ARM rising from 2.75 percent to 2.76 percent, and the 7-year ARM down slightly from 2.98percent to 2.97 percent.
The last time mortgage rates were above five percent was in April 2011, when the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate now 3.79 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $931.91 -- a difference of $150.31 per month for anyone refinancing now.