NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Fixed mortgage rates retreated, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 3.73 percent this week, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.33 discount and origination points.
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The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate slipped below the 3 percent mark, to 2.96 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage plunged to 4.1 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were also lower, with the 3-year ARM inching down to 3 percent and the 5-year ARM sinking to 2.68 percent.Mortgage rates declined following renewed concerns about the global economy and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's reassurances that stimulative bond-buying will continue. Mortgage rates had moved modestly higher in recent weeks on worries that the Fed would prematurely curtail their purchases of long-term bonds, but Bernanke cast those notions aside. Mortgage rates are closely related to yields on long-term government bonds. The last time mortgage rates were above 5 percent was Apr. 2011. At the time, the average 30-year fixed rate was 5.07 percent, meaning a $200,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,082.22. With the average rate now 3.73 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $923.96, a difference of $158 per month for anyone refinancing now. SURVEY RESULTS 30-year fixed: 3.73% -- down from 3.80% last week (avg. points: 0.33)15-year fixed: 2.96% -- down from 3.02% last week (avg. points: 0.32)5/1 ARM: 2.68% -- down from 2.76% last week (avg. points: 0.32) Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the top 10 markets.