Mortgage rates continue to set records in pre-Christmas survey

Overhead view of house

Jumbo mortgage rates fell to a record low for the second time this month in’s new survey of major lenders.

On Dec. 7, the average cost of a jumbo loan -- ones that exceed $417,000 to $625,000, depending on the city -- fell to 4.68%.

That was the cheapest they've been since our survey began tracking jumbo loans in December 1998.

After rising slightly last week to 4.69%, jumbo loan rates dropped to 4.66% in this week's survey.

Fifteen-year, fixed-rate loans held steady at the low point they reached last week; two other popular loan types also remained near their recent all-time lows.

Mortgage rates are low, but according to figures released Wednesday from the Mortgage Bankers Association, many homeowners and potential buyers aren’t taking advantage of the deals.

The latest weekly MBA survey found that refinancing activity fell 1.6% and home purchasing dropped by a seasonally adjusted 4.9% in the past week.

Industry experts have cited several factors as reasons, including strict lending requirements, unemployment and lackluster home equity.

Our Dec. 21 survey found the average interest rate for a:

30-year, fixed-rate loan increased slightly from 4.19% last week -- its record low point -- to 4.20% this week.

15-year, fixed-rate loan held steady at 3.42%, the same rate as last week. This mortgage type first reached the 3.42% record low point on Sept. 21 -- and hit it again on Dec. 14.

5-year, adjustable-rate loan declined from 3.21% to 3.18% 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, first reached their record low -- 3.05% -- on Sept. 21.

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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