Mortgage rates once again remained relatively stable after inching up last week. There were a couple of positive changes for prospective home-buyers. Shorter-term five-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and ARM refinance loans both declined compared to a week ago. However, with an expected rate increase pending following the Fed gathering this week, adjustable-rate mortgages could prove costly down the line.

Here are today's average mortgage rates around the U.S., along with where they stood last month. 

Mortgage rates (national average)

 Loan Type

Today's Rate

Rate 1 Month Ago

30-year fixed jumbo

4.70%

4.23%

30-year fixed

4.18%

3.98%

15-year fixed

3.31%

3.15%

30-year fixed refi

4.19%

4.00%

15-year fixed refi

3.34%

3.20%

5/1 ARM

3.28%

3.13%

5/1 ARM refi

3.39%

3.23%

Data source: Bloomberg. Rates may include points.

For some perspective, here are a few of the national average mortgage rates from 15 years ago.

Loan Type 

Rate as of March, 2002

30-year fixed

7.01%

15-year fixed

6.52%

1-year ARM

5.06%

Data source: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

As the figures above indicate, U.S. mortgage shoppers have enjoyed relatively low rates for the past several years. For some additional perspective, in the early 1980s, mortgage rates climbed to a staggering 18% before beginning what has been a relatively steady decline to the low interest rate environment home buyers enjoy today.

For current homeowners wanting to tap into their equity via a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or equity loan, today offers another bit of good news. HELOC rates are down again today, though equity loans remained unchanged from yesterday, at 5.18% and 5.22%, respectively. However, both equity loan rates are more attractive than last month's respective rates of 5.28% and 5.26%.

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