Mortgage and refinance rates today, July 23, and rate forecast for next week

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
July 23, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates tumbled yesterday. That transformed the entire week from a “meh” one into a good one for those rates.

We’ve now had two consecutive weeks that have been good for mortgage rates. That may or may not signal a reversal in the nearly yearlong upward trend. I’m yet to be convinced. But those rates remain unpredictable and, unfortunately, I’m still not ready to resume weekly rates forecasts.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.629% 5.655% -0.17%
 
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.042% 5.087% +0.05%
 
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.534% 5.58% -0.07%
 
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.002% 5.099% -0.02%
 
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.754% 6.555% -0.21%
 
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 4.984% 5.498% -0.22%
 
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.152% 5.372% -0.11%
 
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.028% 5.396% -0.08%
 
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.

We deserve some good news after such a terrible start to the year. And, according to Mortgage Rates Daily’s archive, average mortgage rates are currently at their lowest since early June.

But read on to discover why I’m not expecting any significant and sustained falls anytime soon.

And why 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

However, with so much uncertainty at the moment, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So let your gut and your personal tolerance for risk help guide you.

What’s moving current mortgage rates

Expectations of a recession in Europe and probably most of the rest of the world heightened this week. The European Union is, globally, the biggest trading bloc. And, when it gets sick, it tends to be infectious.

Last week, Russia turned back on one of its natural gas pipelines into the EU after scheduled maintenance. But the quantity flowing is down to 40% of normal. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested earlier this week:

The partial shut-off of gas deliveries is already affecting European growth, and a full shutdown could be substantially more severe.

Meanwhile, the eurozone’s European Central Bank (its equivalent of our Federal Reserve) hiked its interest rates on Thursday by 50 basis points (0.5%), making borrowing there more expensive. The change helped mortgage rates here.

There’s still a reasonable chance that the US will escape a recession. The Fed hopes to create a “soft landing,” reining in inflation without contracting the economy too far. But it would be even harder for it to achieve that if most of the rest of the world were hurting economically.

Of course, a recession is typically (though not always) good for mortgage rates, usually driving them lower. But it comes with a steep price tag in terms of higher unemployment and poverty.

Markets continue to be conflicted about whether they’re more frightened of a possible recession or actual inflation. And I doubt mortgage rates will settle down into a predictable trend until investors make up their minds about that.

Is the mortgage rate trend turning down?

There’s more reason to be optimistic now that mortgage rates will begin to trend downward than there has been for nearly a year. But I’m yet to be convinced.

Everything depends on inflation and the Fed’s responses to it. Some economists have been saying for months that the next inflation report will show prices leveling off before beginning to drop. But each report has seen inflation rising. Maybe next Friday’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index will finally bring some better news.

High inflation tends to push mortgage rates higher. And I don’t see sustained rate falls until prices begin to fall.

But what about the last two months, over which mortgage rates have fallen, according to Mortgage News Daily (but not Freddie Mac)? Well, we’ve seen several dips in the upward trend so far this year But the underlying momentum has undoubtedly been higher.

True, this recent period of falls has been longer than others. But some deviations — shorter and longer — are inevitable in such a trend.

I’m certainly not saying it’s impossible the trend is turning. But you shouldn’t be surprised if we see higher mortgage rates soon.

Economic reports next week

It’s a big week for important economic reports. On Friday, there’s the PCE inflation report I mentioned earlier. And, on Thursday, the first reading (of three) of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter.

As importantly, on Thursday, the Fed will announce by how much it’s hiking the federal funds rate, which will affect most forms of borrowing in America. Most expect a 0.75% rise. But one of 0.5% might pull mortgage rates lower, while one of 1% could push them higher.

Critical reports in the following calendar are shown in bold. Other reports next week are unlikely to move markets much unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.

  • Tuesday — July consumer confidence index. Plus May S&P Case-Shiller home price index
  • Wednesday — Fed rates announcement. Plus June durable goods orders and core capital equipment orders
  • Thursday — First reading of Q2 GDP. Plus weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to Jul. 23
  • Friday — June PCE inflation report. Plus July consumer sentiment index

It’s a big week for economic numbers. And they might bring more volatile mortgage rates.

Mortgage interest rates forecast for next week

Next week brings a wealth of economic data, plus a rate hike by the Fed. Those numbers are likely to largely determine the direction mortgage rates take. And, as I don’t know what the reports will say, I stand zero chance of accurately predicting where those rates will go.

I still believe that mortgage rates are more likely to gently rise than fall over the next several weeks. But I’m increasingly open to persuasion!

Mortgage and refinance rates usually move in tandem. And the scrapping of the adverse market refinance fee last year has largely eliminated a gap that had grown between the two.

How your mortgage interest rate is determined

Mortgage and refinance rates are generally determined by prices in a secondary market (similar to the stock or bond markets) where mortgage-backed securities are traded.

And that’s highly dependent on the economy. So mortgage rates tend to be high when things are going well and low when the economy’s in trouble. But inflation rates can undermine those tendencies.

Your part

But you play a big part in determining your own mortgage rate in five ways. And you can affect it significantly by:

  1. Shopping around for your best mortgage rate — They vary widely from lender to lender
  2. Boosting your credit score — Even a small bump can make a big difference to your rate and payments
  3. Saving the biggest down payment you can — Lenders like you to have real skin in this game
  4. Keeping your other borrowing modest — The lower your other monthly commitments, the bigger the mortgage you can afford
  5. Choosing your mortgage carefully — Are you better off with a conventional, conforming, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo or another loan?

Time spent getting these ducks in a row can see you winning lower rates.

Remember, they’re not just a mortgage rate

Be sure to count all your forthcoming homeownership costs when you’re working out how big a mortgage you can afford. So focus on your “PITI.” That’s your Principal (pays down the amount you borrowed), Interest (the price of borrowing), (property) Taxes, and (homeowners) Insurance. Our mortgage calculator can help with these.

Depending on your type of mortgage and the size of your down payment, you may have to pay mortgage insurance, too. And that can easily run into three figures every month.

But there are other potential costs. So you’ll have to pay homeowners association dues if you choose to live somewhere with an HOA. And, wherever you live, you should expect repairs and maintenance costs. There’s no landlord to call when things go wrong!

Finally, you’ll find it hard to forget closing costs. You can see those reflected in the annual percentage rate (APR) that lenders will quote you. Because that effectively spreads them out over your loan’s term, making that higher than your straight mortgage rate.

But you may be able to get help with those closing costs and your down payment, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Read:

Down payment assistance programs in every state for 2021

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 result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.