After last Monday's increase, mortgage rates have improved slightly to begin the week. Still attractively low and below 5%, FreeRateUpdate.com's daily survey of wholesale and direct lenders show that 30 year fixed mortgage rates have dipped to 4.75% Tuesday from 4.875%, where they began the week, and 15 year fixed mortgage rates have slid to 4.125%. 5/1 ARM loan rates still remain well under 4% at 3.250%. These are the best mortgage rates available with 0.7 to 1% origination fee to borrowers who are well qualified and can meet lender guidelines. Right now could be the last chance for homeowners to refinance their home at a 30 year fixed rate under 5%.

Remaining unchanged this past week, FHA 30 year fixed mortgage interest rates are at 4.625% and FHA 15 year fixed mortgage interest rates are at 4.000%, both below conforming fixed mortgage rates. FHA 5/1 ARM loan rates are at 3.500%, which is .250% higher than conforming 5/1 ARM loan rates. These FHA loan rates are attractively low to borrowers who also enjoy other FHA benefits such as the low down payment requirement. The drawback to FHA mortgage loans is the higher FHA closing costs (APR) which is due to various FHA fees and the upfront mortgage insurance premium. In addition, FHA has just announced an increase of .25% to the annual MIP for 30 year and 15 year mortgage loans effective April 18th which may result in a surge of home purchasing prior to that date.

Jumbo mortgage rates also saw no movement this past week. Jumbo 30 year fixed mortgage rates are at 5.500%, jumbo 15 year fixed mortgage rates are at 5.000% and jumbo 5/1 ARM mortgage rates are at 4.125%. Jumbo mortgage loans are necessary for financing above the conforming loan limit which is $417,000 to $729,250, depending on the area. Well qualified borrowers can obtain these mortgage rates with 0.7 to 1% origination fee.

MBS prices (mortgage backed securities) were up and down last week but improved significantly Monday of this week. Mortgage rates move in the opposite direction of MBS prices. Last week saw reports of lower unemployment claims and the Treasury auction which did little to affect the MBS market. News from Egypt on Friday created a market rally, but nothing significant enough to move mortgage rates. Weaker than expected retail sales helped mortgage rates.

FreeRateUpdate.com surveys more than two dozen wholesale and direct lenders' rate sheets to determine the most accurate mortgage rates available to well qualified consumers at a standard .07 to 1 point origination.

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