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Mortgage Rates Continue Downward Trend

More good news to share today: Mortgage rates are on the decline again, though they're only modestly lower than they were yesterday. One of the biggest declines was in the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate, which dropped from 3.87% to 3.83%. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARMs) rates also headed south today.

The 5/1 ARM, which jumped 0.04% yesterday to 3.16%, gave up that gain and is back to where it started the week. The 5/1 ARM offers a fixed rate for five years, then adjusts based on the prevailing rates.

Here are today's average mortgage rates across the U.S., along with where they stood a month ago.

Mortgage Type

Mortgage Rates Today

Mortgage Rates 1 month ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.38%

4.65%

30-year fixed

3.83%

4.09%

15-year fixed

3.06%

3.25%

30-year fixed refinance

3.83%

4.09%

15-year fixed refinance

3.07%

3.25%

5/1 ARM

3.12%

3.28%

5/1 ARM refinance

3.26%

3.36%

Data source: Bloomberg. National average rates which may include points.

For those of us who've been around a while, remember what rates were like 15 years ago? Compared to today, mortgage rates in 2002 were borderline criminal. For some perspective, here are a few of the rates as of April 2002.

Mortgage Type

Mortgage Rates April 2012

30-year fixed

6.99%

15-year fixed

6.48%

1-year ARM

4.96%

Data source: Freddie Mac. Rates do not include points.

For existing homeowners looking into a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or equity loan, a bit of a change in rates today. HELOC rates creeped up to 5.30%, while equity loan rates dropped 0.01% to 5.29%. Both equity loans remain above March's respective rates of 5.13% and 5.21%.

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