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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Interest Rate Roundup

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Interest Rate Roundup

By Holden Lewis, Ellen Cannon and Laura Bruce
Bankrate.com

Here's a look at the state of interest rates on five common consumer banking products and the latest rates from Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Feb. 21, 2007.

Mortgages

Rate: 6.29 percent (30-year fixed) Average points: 0.3
Mortgage rates fell a small amount. Except for a brief upward blip at the end of January, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage has been locked in a narrow range of between 6.24 percent and 6.32 percent. The exception is Jan. 31 -- during the year's first meeting of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting committee -- when the average rate on a 30-year fixed spiked to 6.42 percent, then rapidly dropped. The average 30-year fixed rate fell to 6.29 percent this week from 6.32 percent. The average 15-year fixed, which is a popular option for refinancing, fell 5 basis points, to 6.04 percent. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point. On bigger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed fell 1 basis point, to 6.47 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages dropped by small amounts, too. The popular 5/1 ARM fell to 3 basis points, to 6.15 percent, while the 1-year ARM fell by 1 basis point, to 6.03 percent. Rates didn't rise in reaction to a report of higher-than-expected inflation in January, possibly because bond markets expect the cooling housing market to put a damper on price increases for the rest of the year.

Home equity Products

Rates: 8.13 percent (line of credit); 7.88 percent (loan)
Home equity products were essentially unchanged. The average home equity line of credit remained 8.13 percent, 12 basis points shy of the prime rate. Most HELOCs are indexed to the prime rate. Fixed-rate home equity loans fell 1 basis point, to 7.88 percent

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