Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 22, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
August 22, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates rose appreciably last Friday. That ended a disappointing week for those rates, and they start this morning at their highest level in almost a month.

So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might rise, perhaps appreciably. But the direction of these early movements sometimes change.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.894% 5.93% Unchanged
 
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.205% 5.261% Unchanged
 
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.94% 5.993% Unchanged
 
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.178% 5.267% +0.02%
 
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.542% 6.299% Unchanged
 
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.411% 5.902% Unchanged
 
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.22% 5.439% Unchanged
 
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.404% 5.767% 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.

Periods of rises and falls are inevitable in all markets, including the one that largely determines mortgage rates. But I suspect that, overall, those rates will gently rise over the next few months.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations are:

  • 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 last Friday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes edged up to 2.99% from 2.97%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mostly lower soon after opening. (Good 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 decreased to $87.55 from $90.81 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices fell to $1,749 from $1,767 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 — fell to 47 from 51 out of 100. (Good 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, possibly sharply. 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?

Recently, I’ve been writing about how markets are wagering that the Federal Reserve is bluffing about its plans to continue hiking rates for the rest of this year. As I said last Friday, “My money’s on the Fed following through.”

We’ll know more later this week when the Fed hosts its annual Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Aug. 25 through 27. Fed chair Jerome Powell will be giving a speech on Friday. And investors will be watching closely for hints of either second thoughts or steely determination. Mortgage rates may well move either way: down for second thoughts and up for steely determination.

Also on Friday, we’ll see the publication of July’s personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) survey for July. One element of that, the price index, is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. So, again, mortgage rates might move in response to it. Lower-than-expected prices might move those rates lower while higher ones could push them up.

Volatility

Last Friday, Bloomberg ran a story under the headline, “This Economy Is Proving Too Hard for Economists.” It began:

“The latest buzzword among many economists and investors is ‘noise.’ It’s being used to refer to any piece of economic data that doesn’t fit the prevailing narrative, which is happening a lot these days. Don’t get me wrong — this economy is proving hard to understand. It is very strong in some respects and very weak in others.”

If you want an explanation for excessive volatility in mortgage rates and across all markets, that’s it.

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 they’ve been kinder since May.

Freddie’s Aug. 18 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.13% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.22%. But that won’t include that Wednesday’s big rise.

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.