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Mortgage rates: Top 5 cities to catch the wave of low rates

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Jim Mone/AP/File

(Read caption) Home buyers can get low mortgage rates anywhere in the United States. But they're particularly low in this US city. Which city is it?

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Mortgage rates are at or near record lows.

Nationally, they edged up a little for 30-year mortgages and reached a new low for 15-year fixed-rate home loans, mortgage-purchaser Freddie Mac reported Thursday. But they can vary by up to half a percentage point from one city to the next. Which metropolitan areas offer the best mortgage rates?

Here's our list of the Top 5 major metros for a 30-year fixed-rate mortage, based on data from Bankrate.com (which are averaged over the first three Wednesdays of September):

5. St. Louis – 4.67 percent average rate

Like most of our Top 5 cities, St. Louis avoided the worst of the housing crisis. Average home prices are down only about 2 percent from their peak before the housing crisis, according to the National Realtors Association.

4. Atlanta – 4.45 percent

Atlanta home prices are down 20 percent from their peak, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller housing indices, which is the second worst among our Top 5, but represents less than half the decline of a Las Vegas or Phoenix.

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