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Mortgage Rates Retreat as Fed Chief Reassures

Posted on July 20, 2017

Mortgage rates reversed course last week, moving lower following three consecutive weeks of increases, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey.

The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate slipped to 4.13 percent last week, from 4.16 percent the week before. The larger jumbo 30-year fixed inched up slightly to 4.11 percent, while the average 15-year fixed mortgage rate slipped to 3.33 percent.

Adjustable mortgage rates saw decreases also, with the 5-year ARM dipping to 3.54 percent and the 10-year ARM creeping lower to 3.96 percent. 

According to Bankrate, mortgage rates took a breather this week after rising 3 straight weeks previously. With news from the Mortgage Bankers Association that rising rates had scared off borrowers, plunging applications 7.4 percent last week, a reprieve is good news for homebuyers and refinancers.

Mortgage shoppers should also take some comfort from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's assurances in her testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday that inflation is moving at a moderate pace and that the key federal funds rate "is likely to remain below levels that prevailed in previous decades."

At the current average 30-year fixed mortgage rate of 4.13 percent, the monthly payment for a $200,000 loan is $969.88.