Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates edged lower yesterday. It was only a small drop. But every little bit helps.
And we may see something similar again. Because markets were disappointed by this morning’s weekly jobless numbers ahead of tomorrow’s more important monthly employment report. So mortgage rates today might edge lower. But that could change if events and sentiment change during the day.Find and lock a low rate (Nov 26th, 2021)
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.426%||3.444%||-0.03|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||2.829%||2.859%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||3.278%||3.314%||-0.05|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||2.782%||2.839%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.546%||4.315%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||2.852%||3.5%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM FHA|
|5/1 ARM FHA||2.753%||3.278%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||3.393%||3.589%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||3.015%||3.359%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM VA|
|5/1 ARM VA||2.606%||2.51%||Unchanged|
|Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.|
COVID-19 mortgage updates: Mortgage lenders are changing rates and rules due to COVID–19. To see the latest on how coronavirus could impact your home loan, click here.
Should you lock a mortgage rate today?
It seems to me that the forces pushing up mortgage rates (see below) are currently much stronger than those trying to pull them down. And I’m expecting that situation to remain for several months.
So my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
- LOCK if closing in 7 days
- LOCK if closing in 15 days
- LOCK if closing in 30 days
- LOCK if closing in 45 days
- LOCK if closing in 60 days
But I don’t claim perfect foresight. And your personal analysis could turn out to be as good as mine – or better. So you might choose to be guided by your instincts and your personal tolerance for risk.
Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates
Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasurys edged down to 1.70% from 1.72% (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields, though less so recently
- Major stock indexes were higher on opening. (Good for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite happens when indexes are lower
- Oil prices nudged lower to $60.31 from $60.47 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity.)
- Gold prices rose to $1,726 from $1,692 an ounce. (Good for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s better for rates when gold rises, and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
- CNN Business Fear & Greed index – Increased to 56 from 51 out of 100. (Bad for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones
*A change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.
Caveats about markets and rates
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. We still make calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won’t achieve its former high levels until things settle down.
So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, so far mortgage rates today look likely to edge downward. Just be aware that intraday swings (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Important notes on today’s mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
- Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care’
- Only “top–tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
- Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements – though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
- When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
- Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases. But some types of refinances are higher following a regulatory change
So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks, or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
Today and soon
If the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 6.5% growth in 2021 – the highest since Ronald Reagan was in the White House – turns out to be right, it’s hard to see any alternative to higher mortgage rates. Higher rates and booming economies have historically gone hand in hand.
But that’s not the only upward pressure on these rates. Some fear that such a boom will fuel higher inflation. And that, too, pushes them up.
Meanwhile inflation fears are made more acute by higher government borrowing. And, following his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden yesterday unveiled a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. That’s almost bound to involve more government borrowing in the short term, although Mr. Biden intends to raise taxes on corporations and uber–rich folk over time to cover much of the expenditure.
Of course, none of these is a given. The economic recovery that should produce the boom could be blown off course. And the infrastructure bill faces stiff opposition in Congress.
But what counts is investor perceptions. And, right now, most expect a boom and higher government borrowing. Unless and until that changes, I expect mortgage rate rises to outweigh falls by some margin.
For more background on my wider thinking, read our latest weekend edition, which is published every Saturday soon after 10 a.m. (ET).
Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all–time low was set on 16 occasions last year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30–year fixed–rate mortgages. But rates then rose. And Freddie’s Apr. 1 report puts that weekly average at 3.18% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 3.17%.
Expert mortgage rate forecasts
Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.
And here are their current rates forecasts for the remaining quarters of 2021 (Q2/21, Q3/21, Q4/21) and the first quarter of 2022 (Q1/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages. Fannie’s were updated on March 17 and the MBA’s on March 22. But Freddie now publishes forecasts quarterly. Its figures are from Jan. 10 and are looking distinctly stale:
However, given so many unknowables, the current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. And there’s certainly a widening spread as the year progresses.
Find your lowest rate today
Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla–flavored mortgages and refinances.
But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash–out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.
But, of course, you should be comparison shopping widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Show me today's rates (Nov 26th, 2021)
Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Mortgage rate methodology
The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.