BofA opens debate on lowering mortgage down payments

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The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.02 percent, down from last week when it averaged 4.05 percent.

Mortgage rates will likely fall next week as 10-year Treasury yields have declined on safe-haven demand for bonds due to concerns about potential delays in tax cuts and other fiscal stimulus amid probes into U.S. President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign team and Russian Federation.

"The 30-year mortgage rate fell 3 basis points this week to 4.02%", said Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti. The rate stood at 3.58 percent a year ago and averaged 3.65 percent in 2016, the lowest level in records dating to 1971.

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Amid growing worries that deepening political turmoil in Washington will hinder President Donald Trump's plans to enact tax cuts and other business-friendly policies, the stock market had its steepest drop since September on Wednesday.

The rate on 15-year mortgages eased to 3.27 percent from 3.29 percent last week. Bond prices rose as investors shunned riskier assets.

Another factor helping keep long-term yields, and mortgage rates by extension, in check is that the Federal Reserve seems poised to raise short-term interest rates as soon as June.

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Bankrate's national weekly mortgage survey is conducted each Wednesday from data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in 10 top markets.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.13 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. The fee remained at 0.5 point.

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