Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates moved both up and down during the course of yesterday. And they ended up barely moving. That was a welcome relief after the last seven days’ upward movements.
First thing this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to rise modestly. But that could change as the hours pass.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.823%||5.857%||+0.01%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.269%||5.319%||-0.11%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.94%||5.986%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.18%||5.264%||-0.08%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.525%||6.284%||-0.03%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.427%||5.934%||-0.09%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.321%||5.542%||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.
Recent economic data have been mixed, fueling fears of both a recession and inflation. But I suspect that, regardless, the Federal Reserve’s insistence on pushing its interest rate higher over the coming months will be enough to push mortgage rates upward.
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 yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose to 3.10% from 3.04%. (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 shot higher to $94.18 from $93.05 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices edged up to $1,756 from $1,753 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 47 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?
There are plenty of recent financial and economic data to fuel fears of higher inflation and a possible recession.
For example, US natural gas prices have risen sharply as a chunk of our supply is diverted to Europe where Russia, the continent’s usual supplier, has drastically reduced supply. And the oil price rose yesterday following hints from Saudi Arabia that the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) might lower production levels. Both could be bad news for American inflation.
And the list of possible triggers for a global recession is similarly scary. China’s industrial production is growing less quickly than normally, and it faces a meltdown in its housing market. Many emerging nations are struggling to feed their populations as the supply of grain from Ukraine and Russia reduces to a trickle. And Europe is enduring droughts and heat waves that have shut down nuclear plants through a lack of cooling water and closed off normally navigable rivers that are essential transportation arteries for goods. Come winter, of course, Europe faces an energy crunch.
This morning, a Wall Street Journal e-newsletter began: “Business activity in the U.S., Europe and Japan fell in August, according to new surveys, pointing to a sharp slowdown in global economic growth as higher prices weaken consumer demand and the war in Ukraine scrambles supply chains.”
High inflation tends to push mortgage rates upward. And fears of a recession tend to pull them lower. No wonder they’re all over the place.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve seems determined to continue hiking its rate for the rest of the year. That’s three times between now and Christmas. And some think another huge increase of 75 basis points (0.75%) could be on its way next month.
If the Fed proceeds as planned, I find it hard to imagine mortgage rates falling far or for long over the rest of this year.
As I wrote yesterday: Watch out for Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. He may clarify the central bank’s policy. But I’m not expecting the screeching U-turn that backing down on rate hikes would involve.
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 — 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 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. Fannie’s forecast appeared on Aug. 22 and the MBA’s on Aug. 23. Freddie’s came out around Jul. 21. But it now releases forecasts only quarterly. So, expect its figures to look stale soon.
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. Personally, I think they’re wildly optimistic.
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.