New Jersey (Rate Wire) -- The benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate in NJ has moved down over the last year. In our year-ago review on Feb. 4 the rates averaged 4.92%; this week the average stands at 4.16%, a drop of 76 basis points. The state average is higher than the national average of 4.12%, which is 4 basis points lower than in NJ. If you are looking for the best rate in the area, then you should focus on banks, as the average rate that you can find at a bank is 5 basis points lower than the average credit union. Since our last report, rates have decreased 5 basis points. The shorter term 15-year fixed mortgage in NJ rates have dropped from 4.21% to 3.38%, a drop of 83 basis points.

The key adjustable rate mortgage, the

5-year ARM in New Jersey

, has decreased over the last year from 3.62% on Feb. 4 to the current week's average of 2.81%, a drop of 81 basis points. Since our last report, rates have increased 6 basis points. Over the last year, mortgage rates have been very volatile with the 30-year rate fluctuating between 5.13% and 4.07%.

Other Housing Related Loans:

There are a lot of variables to consider when looking into home equity loans and lines of credit. The bank will look at the amount of equity that the prospective borrower has in his or her home as well as the total amount of the loan or line being considered. When looking into lines of credit, also referred to as a HELOC, we refer to the lowest tier of loan (less than $25,000) with a loan amount of up to 80% of the value of the home. The current average rate for a

HELOC in New Jersey

is 5.19% ranging from 2.74% to 10.00%. When looking into home equity loans, we are using the lowest tier of loan (less than $25,000) with a loan amount of up to 80% of the value of the home over a five-year term (120 months). The average

home equity loan rate in New Jersey

is currently 6.37% ranging from a low of 3.25% to a high of 9.64%.

All rate information has been provided by RateWatch, a leading provider of timely, accurate deposit, loan, and fee data for the financial industry for more than 20 years.