Mortgage and refinance rates today, April 20, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
April 20, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates climbed again yesterday, reaching heights not seen since the century’s first decade. Of course, if you look back to 2008 and beyond, today’s rates would be seen as exceptionally low. But we’ve grown used to even lower ones since then.

Mortgage rates today look likely to fall. But, with so much volatility in markets at the moment, these daily predictions are far from reliable.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.344% 5.369% -0.01%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 4.554% 4.588% +0.1%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.423% 5.466% +0.14%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 4.429% 4.493% -0.07%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.338% 6.158% +0.07%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 4.696% 4.981% +0.1%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.191% 5.407% +0.11%
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.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

Don't lock on a day when mortgage rates look set to fall. My recommendations (below) are intended to give longer-term suggestions about the overall direction of those rates. So, they don’t change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.

Despite a few worthwhile falls, mortgage rates have shot up this month. Everyone keeps thinking they can’t go much higher. Only to witness them do precisely that.

I’m still hoping they’ll settle down soon, perhaps early next month. But I’d be surprised if those rates were to fall far or for long even then. And I suspect they’ll carry on higher though at a more gentle pace.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term 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

>Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate

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 fell to 2.89% from 2.91%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mostly 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. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices dropped up to $103.48 from $104.42 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices decreased to $1,949 from $1,967 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 — edged up to 42 from 40 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 movement of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a change of 1% or less. 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 might decrease. However, 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:

  1. 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
  2. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  3. 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
  4. When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  5. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases.

A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Mortgage and refinance rates are rising and have been for a long time. But what happens next?

As I said above, I suspect they’ll carry on higher but that the pace of rises will probably soon slow. But not everyone agrees with me. And some of the people who don’t are seriously credible experts.

Today’s updated table of expert forecasts (below) shows the teams of economists at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association all think mortgage rates will fall from their current levels this quarter and then more or less plateau.

In other words, all the rates they are forecasting for the next four quarters are appreciably lower than the ones we’re reporting today.

Does that mean I’m wrong and they’re right in our predictions? Of course, it might do. They are serious experts with, no doubt, impressive resources and sophisticated modeling tools.

But I’m guessing that they’d cheerfully acknowledge that for many months their forecasts have significantly underestimated how far and fast mortgage rates would rise. You just have to look back through their archives of forecasts (all online to their credit) to see that’s true.

To be fair, I underestimated those rises, too. I just wasn’t — possibly by chance — quite so wrong.

So what should you take away from this? Mostly that nobody knows what will happen to mortgage rates.

We who try to predict them do our best. But we know a million unexpected events are waiting in the wings, any one of which could leave us looking foolish.

Overall, you might be surprised by how often we get things right. But nobody knows the future.

Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.

Recent trends

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 that year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, the rises have grown more pronounced since last September.

Freddie’s Apr. 14 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 4.72%. But that Apr. 14 figure won’t include most of that week’s sharp falls.

Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.8 fees and points”) on closing that earn you a lower rate. If you don’t do that, your rate would be closer to the ones we and others quote.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts — Updated today

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 three quarters of 2022 (Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first quarter of next year (Q1/23).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on Apr. 19, Freddie’s on Apr. 18, and the MBA’s on Apr. 13.

ForecasterQ2/22Q3/22Q4/22Q1/23
Fannie Mae4.6%4.5% 4.5%4.5%
Freddie Mac4.8%4.8% 5.0%5.0%
MBA4.7%4.8% 4.8%4.8%

Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. I’m afraid I’m less optimistic than any of them.

Find your lowest rate today

You should comparison shop 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.

Popular Articles

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.