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Bankrate: Global Tensions Bring Mortgage Rates Lower

NEW YORK, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The financial crisis in tiny Cyprus stoked tensions enough to bring mortgage rates back down this week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate settling at 3.78 percent this week, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.37 discount and origination points.

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To see mortgage rates in your area, go to http://www.bankrate.com/funnel/mortgages/.

The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate dipped below the 3 percent mark to 2.97 percent, while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.13 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were broadly lower, with the 3-year ARM and 5-year ARM moving to the lowest levels since January, pulling back to 2.97 percent and 2.71 percent, respectively.

This week's move in mortgage rates unwound much of the increase seen last week following better news on the job market and the overall U.S. economy. Any time there is nervousness or tension, it tends to be good news for mortgage rates. Conversely, better news on the economic front often means higher mortgage rates.

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 currently at 3.78 percent, the monthly payment for the same size loan would be $929.64, a difference of $152 per month for anyone refinancing now.

SURVEY RESULTS

30-year fixed: 3.78% -- down from 3.85% last week (avg. points: 0.37)

15-year fixed: 2.97% -- down from 3.03% last week (avg. points: 0.34)

5/1 ARM: 2.71% -- down from 2.82% last week (avg. points: 0.30)

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