Bank rates moved lower for the last week of August with almost all bank savings rates and lending rates in the weekly bank rate survey ending on a down note.  Interest rate changes were predominantly driven by the Federal Reserve President’s speech in Wyoming on Friday. 

Though there were no surprises in the speech from Bernanke on Friday, the speech laid out a framework for increased monetary intervention by the Fed in the future.  There were absolutely no specifics about bond buying programs or interest rate reductions but the Fed Chairman went out of his way to explain how valuable these programs have been with regards to lower mortgage rates, financial stability and job growth.  With that kind of groundwork it sure seemed like the Fed was setting the stage for more work ahead.  The bond markets reacted with prices moving higher and interest rates moving lower.

Friday morning opened with the ten year Treasury rate at 1.63 percent and closed out the day at 1.57 percent in reaction to the Fed speech, a drop of six basis points on the day.  Five year Treasury rates made a similar move, starting out at 0.66 percent and dropping to 0.59 percent at day’s end.  Rate reductions for the week were even more pronounced with the ten year Treasury rate dropping 11 basis points and the five year losing 13 basis points.

 Based on the current survey results, all mortgage loan products displayed a drop in borrowing costs for the week.  The average 30 year mortgage rate available at the top ten biggest bank mortgage lenders was down by 4.7 basis points or 0.047 percent.  The moderate slide in the 30 year rate put the average 30 year mortgage rate at 3.705 percent after closing at 3.752 percent in the previous week.  The 30 year jumbo mortgage rate was down by similar amount with a rate reduction of 4.5 basis points.  The average jumbo mortgage rate ended the week at 4.070 percent.  The 30 year FHA mortgage was not quite as generous to home loan borrowers, shaving less than one basis point off the average interest rate to 3.573 percent. 

CD interest rates were also lower on the week, although the rate change for bank CDs had very little strength and depth.  The average CD rate measured in the CD rate index ended the week at 1.043 percent after kicking off the week with a yield of 1.046 percent.  The CD rate index measures the top ten bank CD rates available nationally for a three month term, six month term, one year term, two year term and five year term bank CDs.

The best three month CD rates, one year CD rates and two year CD rates were unchanged on the week.  The average rate on the top ten three month bank CDs, one year CDs and two year CDs held at 0.491 percent, 1.041 percent and 1.169 percent, respectively.  The average rate on the highest six month CD rates was off by just 1/1000th of a percent, slipping to 0.773 percent from 0.774 percent in the week earlier. The average interest rate on the best five year CDs made the only significant rate change for the week, falling 1.2 basis points for an average yield of 1.741 percent.

Bank money market rates and savings rates bucked the trend on the week.  Savings rates and money market rates were boosted by almost three basis points.  The average rate in this bank savings category increased to 0.984 percent from 0.955 percent in the prior week.  Though some of the top bank rates were increased slightly, the bulk of change came from repositioning of banks in the survey. 

The best credit card rates were unaltered week over week.  The average interest rate on new credit card offers held at 13.69 percent.  Not only was the average rate unchanged, but there was also very little activity in new credit card offers regarding new short term promotions for credit card interest rates such as zero percent credit card offers and cash back offers or other rewards.  While credit card companies continue to aggressively court new card holders, the run of new promotions seemed to have taken a breathier over the week.

The weekly bank rate survey provides a detailed report on bank savings rates and lending rates by consumer rate category.  The most current survey is for the week ending August 31, 2012.  The weekly rate survey presented the following interest rates and their changes for mortgage rates, CD interest rates, credit card rates, money market rates, savings account rates and Treasury rates.

Bank Rates Market Recap for August 31, 2012

CD interest rates:
Composite CD interest rate index 1.043 percent (down .003 percent)
3 month CD rates 0.491 percent (unchanged)
6 month CD rates 0.773 percent (down .001 percent)
1 year CD rates 1.041 percent (unchanged)
2 year bank CD rates 1.169 percent (unchanged)
5 year CD rates 1.741 percent (down .012 percent)

Money market and savings account rates:
Bank money market rates and savings account rates 0.984 percent (up .029 percent) 

Mortgage rates:
30 year mortgage rate 3.705 percent (down .047 percent) 
15 year mortgage rate 2.944 percent (down .022 percent) 
20 year mortgage rate 3.463 percent (down .016 percent) 
30 year jumbo mortgage rate 4.070 percent (down .045 percent) 
30 year FHA mortgage rate 3.573 percent (down .002 percent)

Credit card rates:
Credit card rates for new credit card offers 13.69 percent (unchanged)

Treasury rates:
Six month Treasury rate 0.14 percent (up .01 percent) 
One year Treasury rate 0.16 percent (down .03 percent)
Two year Treasury rate 0.22 percent (down .06 percent)
Five year Treasury rate 0.59 percent (down .13 percent)
Ten year Treasury rate 1.57 percent (down .11 percent)

All bank savings rates and lending rates are based on surveys conducted by at the close of August 31, 2012 with all of the interest rates obtained directly from the banks within the survey.  Treasury rates are obtained directly from the Department of the Treasury.  

For more information detailed interest rate data on mortgage rates, CD rates, credit card rates and savings account rates for the week ending August 31, 2012 please see: 3 month CD rates, 6 month CD rates, 1 year CD rates, 2 year CD rates, 5 year CD rates, 30 year mortgage rates, 15 year mortgage rates, FHA mortgage rates, 20 year mortgage rates, 10 year mortgage rates, jumbo mortgage rates, best interest checking accounts and best credit card rates.

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