Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates held steady yesterday, dodging the bullet of another rise, which had looked likely early that day. These rates may currently feel high compared with some seen over the last year. But, believe me, they remain incredibly low by almost all other standards.
So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might rise. But, as we saw yesterday, such predictions are less reliable than usual during the current turmoil in markets.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.16%||3.175%||+0.03%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||2.477%||2.505%||+0.01%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||2.983%||3.019%||+0.02%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||2.405%||2.451%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.13%||3.89%||+0.04%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||2.518%||3.161%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM FHA|
|5/1 ARM FHA||2.398%||3.073%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||2.981%||3.173%||+0.05%|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||2.71%||3.06%||+0.01%|
|5/1 ARM VA|
|5/1 ARM VA||2.497%||2.311%||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?
There’s finally hope that Congress may kick the debt-ceiling crisis down the road to December. And that might provide another breather from appreciably higher mortgage rates. However, if tomorrow’s employment report turns out to be as good as many expect, that break may be very brief indeed.
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
However, 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 Treasury notes rose to 1.56% from 1.52%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were higher soon after opening. (Bad 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 may happen when indexes are lower
- Oil prices fell to $76.61 from $77.65 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity.
- Gold prices inched down to $1,757 from $1,759 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is 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 — climbed to 35 from 27 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 daily 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, mortgage rates today look likely to rise. But 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. And a recent regulatory change has narrowed a gap that previously existed
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
Congress has taken the debt ceiling close to the brink. But, last night, “Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) inched closer to a pact that would raise the borrowing limit until an unspecified date in December,” according to The Washington Post (paywall).
So we have to hope that the deal is struck today, although at best it will give respite for only 14 weeks and possibly 10.
Tomorrow’s employment report and mortgage rates
However, the other major issue facing that market may grow more acute tomorrow, putting more upward pressure on these rates. So what happens tomorrow?
Well, that’s when the monthly, official, employment situation report for September is due to be published. And many are expecting that to bring news that’s fair or good. Why?
Because yesterday’s private-sector ADP employment report was pretty good, as was this morning’s weekly report of new claims for unemployment insurance. Those raise hopes for a good official employment report tomorrow.
But a good one of those likely won’t be helpful to mortgage rates. Because a poor one was the last big hope of the Federal Reserve holding off on its plans to wind down its powerful, 18-month support for low mortgage rates, starting Nov. 3. And mortgage rates tomorrow may well rise further as Fed action on that date moves from likely to highly likely.
Of course, that’s not certain. Markets are especially volatile right now. And it’s perfectly possible that they’ll respond to tomorrow’s report counterintuitively. Or that the report itself disappoints.
Indeed, nothing at all is certain when it comes to mortgage rates. But it looks probable to me that they’ll continue higher over the coming weeks and months.
For more details about the Fed’s actions and other influences on mortgage rates, read last Saturday’s weekend edition of these daily reports.
Recently — Updated today
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 then the trend reversed and rates rose moderately.
However, from April, those rises were mostly replaced by falls, though typically small ones. More recently, we had a couple of months when those rates barely moved. But, unfortunately, September brought some sharp rises.
Freddie’s Oct. 7 report puts that weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 2.99% (with 0.7 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 3.01%.
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 rate forecasts for the remaining quarters of 2021 (Q3/21 and Q4/21) and the first two quarters of 2022 (Q1/22 and Q2/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were updated on Sept. 20 and the MBA’s on Sept. 22. But Freddie’s were last refreshed on July 15 because it now publishes these figures only quarterly. And its forecast is looking seriously stale.
However, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
All these forecasts expect higher mortgage rates soon or fairly soon. But the differences between the forecasters are stark. And it may be that Fannie isn’t building in the Federal Reserve’s tapering of its support for mortgage rates while Freddie and the MBA are. Or perhaps Fannie believes tapering will have little impact.
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:
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.