New record lows abound in latest mortgage rates survey

House on rate chart

The average cost of all four types of home loans we track are at record lows in’s most recent survey of major lenders.

Five-year, adjustable-rate mortgages -- home loans on which the initial interest rate remains fixed for the first five years and then changes once a year -- saw the biggest drop.

The average cost of 5/1 ARMs plummeted from 3.19% last week to 3.04% this week. That’s even less than the previous all-time low of 3.05% reached in the Sept. 21, 2011, survey.

It has become downright cheap to finance a home since the Federal Reserve began buying $1.25 trillion worth of mortgage-backed bonds in January 2009.

To keep interest rates down, the government-controlled bank is expected to buy an additional $200 billion worth of loans this year to replace debt that is currently holds but is being paid off.

Reports in the bond industry say the Fed could add another $250 million to $750 billion worth of home loans to its total holdings of housing debt.

If it did so, that would put the Fed in the position of buying the equivalent of half to nearly all of the new housing debt created in the United States this year.

Our Jan. 11 survey found the average interest rate for a:

30-year, fixed-rate loan held steady at 4.18%, the record low it reached last week.

15-year, fixed-rate loan fell from the previous record low of 3.40% to 3.38% over the past week.

30-year jumbo loans -- mortgages that exceed $417,000 to $625,000, depending on the city -- fell from the previous record low of 4.62% to 4.60%.

Our database of mortgage 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 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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