Mortgage rates kept slipping today, with slight drops almost across the board. The average rates for most varieties of home loans dipped by 1 or 2 basis points (a basis point equals 1/100 of a percent) -- a nice change after last week, which featured multiple small increases.

Though fixed rates inched down across the board, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) bucked the downward trend, rising by 1 basis point.

The slow but steady increases in rates for most of last week were seen by some as a precursor of what was to come following February's 0.25% increase in the Federal Reserve's benchmark fed funds rate. But today's declines make it two in a row, so Fed-related concerns can be put to bed -- for now.

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

4.43%

4.52%

30-year fixed

3.89%

4.01%

15-year fixed

3.10%

3.19%

30-year fixed refinance

3.87%

4.01%

15-year fixed refinance

3.08%

3.19%

5/1 ARM

3.16%

3.17%

5/1 ARM refinance

3.27%

3.32%

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

As attractive as rates are today, some would-be home-buyers may not realize just how fortunate they are. For some perspective, here are the average mortgage rates from May 1997.

Mortgage Type

Mortgage Rates May 1997

30-year fixed

7.94%

15-year fixed

7.47%

1-year ARM

5.81%

Data source: Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). Rates do not include points.

For homeowners considering tapping into their home's equity, there was not much change today in home equity lines of credit (HELOC) or home equity loans. Both rates remain above last month's 5.16% and 5.28%, but at 5.30% and 5.29% are still relatively attractive.


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