Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell moderately yesterday. In normal times, I’d call the drop significant. But recent volatility means we’ve seen rises and falls that are multiples of Monday’s change. And I’m having to rescale my adjectives accordingly.
By 10 a.m. (ET) this morning, markets were suggesting that mortgage rates today might rise. But that could change as the hours pass.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.442%||5.474%||-0.11%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||4.886%||4.943%||-0.07%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.546%||5.599%||-0.16%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.018%||5.116%||-0.09%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.501%||6.28%||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.091%||5.576%||-0.04%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.147%||5.367%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||5.051%||5.418%||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.|
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.
With inflation dominating this week’s calendar of economic reports, we may well see plenty of volatility in mortgage rates. Tomorrow brings the most important of those reports, the consumer price index (CPI).
Continuing to float your rate is not risk-free, in spite of my recommendations (below). The chances of mortgage rates moving higher or lower are pretty evenly balanced. So lock now if you prefer a cautious approach.
But, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
- LOCK if closing in 7 days
- LOCK if closing in 15 days
- FLOAT if closing in 30 days
- FLOAT if closing in 45 days
- FLOAT 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 edged up to 2.81% from 2.78%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were mixed soon after opening. (Neutral 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 climbed to $91.82 from $88.44 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices rose to $1,814 from $1,798 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) It is generally 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 — held steady at 50 out of 100. (Neutral 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 look likely to rise. 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:
- 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 broader 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.
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?
The first half of 2022 was a dire period for mortgage rates. In January, those for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.45%, according to Freddie Mac’s archive. In June, they averaged 5.52%.
July was a good month, with that average dipping to 5.41%. Add up all the rises so far in August and subtract all the falls, and it looks as if they’re climbing again. But don’t despair yet. Just one or two big falls would transform this month’s picture.
The question is: Will those big falls materialize? And, if they do, will they soon be swamped by similarly big rises? That’s anyone’s guess.
This week brings several economic reports concerning inflation. And, if they show that prices are beginning to plateau or actually decline, those falls become a strong possibility. But if they show those prices are continuing to rise strongly, mortgage rates might climb further.
Tomorrow brings by far the most important of this week’s reports, the consumer price index (CPI). Economists polled by MarketWatch were overnight expecting that measure to have fallen significantly in July: to 0.2% from 1.3% in June. If those economists turn out to be right, that could be good news for mortgage rates.
In normal times, markets would barely pay any attention to the other inflation reports this week. But, given that rising prices and costs are currently under a powerful microscope, those reports may be more influential than usual.
Today’s unit labor costs report covers the second quarter. Thursday’s producer price index for July “measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output,” according to its publisher, the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So it can suggest where prices are heading earlier in the supply chain.
And Friday’s import price index for July does what it says: measures changes in the prices of imports of merchandise into the country. Again, this indicates trends in prices early in the supply chain.
Those MarketWatch economists expect good figures for all those reports. So, how much do you trust economists?
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.
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.
Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they’ve been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although May and June were kinder months.
Freddie’s Aug. 4 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 4.99% (with 0.8 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 5.3%. However, note that this report misses most of that Tuesday’s and all of that Wednesday’s dramatic rises.
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
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 two quarters of 2022 (Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first two quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. The latest forecasts all appeared around Jul. 21.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. And their past record for accuracy hasn’t been wildly impressive.
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.