2012 arrives with a bunch of new record mortgage rates

Hundred dollar bill folded in shape of a house

Mortgage rates are off to a smokin' start this year, with three of the most popular types of home loans already falling to new record lows, according to Interest.com’s most recent survey of major lenders.

All four types of home loans we follow had an incredible year in 2011, each reaching a new low point at least once during the past year.

The average cost of jumbo loans -- which exceed $417,000 to $625,000, depending on the city -- reached a new low of 4.64% in the last week of December.

Then it fell to another record of 4.62% this week.

The two primary types of conventional fixed-rate loans, 30- and 15-year loans, also reached new all-time lows.

Whether you're looking to buy a house or refinance in 2012, you should be able to take advantage of record low rates well into the New Year.

Economists believe the average cost of a 30-year, fixed-rate loan will remain at or near 4% throughout most of the year.

Our Jan. 4 survey found the average interest rate for a:

30-year, fixed-rate loan declined from 4.21% last week to 4.18% this week. That’s a new record for this type of loan, which just reached its previous low of 4.19% a few weeks ago on Dec. 14, 2011.

15-year, fixed-rate loan fell from 3.44% to 3.40%. The previous record low had been 3.42%, first attained on Sept. 21, 2011, and then again on Dec. 14, 2011.

5-year, adjustable-rate loan also declined, falling from 3.20% to 3.19% this week. Five-year ARMs, home loans on which the initial interest rate remains fixed for the first five years and then changes once a year, set a record low of 3.05% in September.

Our database of interest rates can help you find the best deals in your area, including many that are less costly than the national averages.

You can use our home loan calculator to determine the monthly payments for the exact amount you want to borrow with this or any home loan.

It will also provide a month-by-month amortization schedule that shows how much you've reduced your debt and how much you still owe.

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