Mortgage Rates Hit 2017 Low

NEW YORK — Mortgage rates have fallen to their lowest level of the year, according to Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey. The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate is now 3.97 percent (below 4 percent for the first time since last November). It has an average of 0.29 discount and origination points.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate dipped to 3.20 percent. The average 5-year ARM (3.47 percent) is also modestly lower than a week ago, as is the average 30-year jumbo (3.99 percent).

Despite economic growth that was stronger than expected in the second quarter, mortgage rates have been in a modest downtrend over the past two months. The culprits have alternated between low inflation readings, reduced expectations for additional rate hikes by the Fed this year and the on again, off again spats with North Korea. With mortgage rates moving below 4 percent, this is a key threshold for homeowners that missed the refinancing opportunity in 2016. Lower mortgage rates also ease the pressure of monthly payments for would-be homebuyers.

At the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 3.97 percent, the monthly payment for a $200,000 loan is $951.37.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 3.97% — down from 4.02% last week (avg. points: 0.29)

15-year fixed: 3.20% — down from 3.23% last week (avg. points: 0.24)

5/1 ARM: 3.47% — down from 3.50% last week (avg. points: 0.33)

Bankrate’s national weekly mortgage survey is conducted every Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in 10 top markets.