Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 12, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
August 12, 2022 - 6 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates moved moderately higher yesterday. It was another day on which those rates started heading in one direction only to turn tail as the hours passed. Still, they remain considerably lower than they were at the start of the week.

So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might fall modestly. However, as we’ve seen so often recently, those early trends often change during the day.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.483% 5.514% +0.12%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.042% 5.1% +0.15%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.566% 5.621% +0.19%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.094% 5.198% +0.06%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.504% 6.234% +0.12%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.291% 5.78% +0.2%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.087% 5.307% +0.06%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.306% 5.676% +0.27%
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.

Mortgage rates should have moved lower yesterday on more good inflation numbers. But they rose instead. If markets continue to react counterintuitively to data, I’m toast.

Take my mortgage rate lock recommendations (below) even less seriously than normally. Those rates are balanced on a knife edge right now and could tip either way. So, if you’re not a natural gambler, lock your rate soon.

I may soon change my personal rate lock recommendations back to “lock” across the board. But, for now, they 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 rose to 2.85% from 2.77%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) But that rise happened yesterday, and they’re falling this morning. 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. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices dropped to $91.86 from $93.31 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices held steady at $1,811 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 54 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 fall. 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 broader 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?

Honestly, I’m not sure why mortgage rates moved the way they did yesterday. July’s producer price index (PPI) brought good news about inflation that should have pushed them lower. But they ended the day moderately higher.

Perhaps those markets were still sore about the Federal Reserve’s insistence on Wednesday that one month’s encouraging inflation figures were insufficient for it to pause its planned rate hikes. I covered this yesterday.

This morning’s import price index (IPI) measured how prices changed for imported goods arriving in the US during July. Changes are likely to feed through into consumer prices once those goods have worked through the supply chain onto retailers’ shelves. Businesses buying goods will also be affected, often more quickly.

Those IPI figures showed import prices falling last month by 1.4%, which was better than expected. They’d risen by 0.3% in June. But, after yesterday’s PPI, you’d be brave to predict how mortgage rates will move in response.

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. 11 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.22% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 4.99%. However, note that this report mostly misses that Wednesday’s significant fall.

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.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
Fannie Mae5.5%5.4% 5.3%5.1%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.2%5.2% 5.0%5.0%

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.