Mortgage rates have dropped to their lowest levels since the summer of 2005, as more people become convinced that the economy is in a housing-led slowdown.
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The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 13 basis points, to 5.75 percent, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.36 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index was 6.26 percent; four weeks ago, it was 6.21 percent.
The benchmark 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 17 basis points, to 5.28 percent. The benchmark 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage fell 14 basis points, to 5.67 percent. As usual, the 30-year jumbo, for mortgages exceeding the $417,000 conforming limit, fell less rapidly — down 5 basis points, to 6.98 percent.
The benchmark 30-year rate hasn’t been lower than this since July 6, 2005, when it was 5.7 percent. Less than six months ago — July 25, 2007 — the benchmark 30-year rate was exactly 1 percentage point higher, at 6.75 percent. It has dropped fairly steadily since then, but the decline accelerated at the beginning of this year. The 30-year fixed has fallen 56 basis points in three weeks, the biggest three-week drop since February 1988.