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Mortgage rates hit 5-month low

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Mortgage rates fell to a five-month low this past week as reports of an uptick in unemployment filings and higher gasoline prices cut into consumer spending, scaring investors into safe government bonds, Bankrate said Thursday. Freddie Mac also released its mortgage rate findings, which show the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropping to 4.71% and the 15-year FRM hitting a new yearly low of 3.89%. The 30-year FRM remains below the 5% level recorded this time last year. Meanwhile, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.47% this past week, down from 3.51% last week and lower than the 3.97% rate recorded a year earlier. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM also averaged 3.14%, a slight decline from 3.15% last week and 4.07% from last year. Bankrate said Thursday "when  investors get nervous they rotate into safe haven government bonds, to which mortgage rates are closely related. The downswing in government bond yields had a corresponding benefit on mortgage rates." Bankrate's survey of the nation's biggest lenders showed a 30-year FRM falling to 4.88% and the 15-year FRM hitting 4.05%, while the jumbo 30-year FRM hit 5.36%. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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