Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates rose appreciably yesterday. And that for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages is perilously close to 6%. Read on to discover why there may or may not be relief ahead.
First thing this morning, mortgage rates today were barely moving. If they stay that way, we might be in for a breather. But they often change later in the day.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.954%||5.991%||+0.13%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.228%||5.27%||-0.05%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.925%||5.983%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.209%||5.294%||+0.03%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.635%||6.398%||+0.11%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.414%||5.944%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.287%||5.506%||-0.04%|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||5.449%||5.812%||+0.04%|
|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.
It’s possible that rates could move lower on Friday. Read on for why that’s one possibility. But I doubt any fall will be big or sustained. Amid the usual ups and downs, I’m expecting mortgage rates to edge higher for the rest of the year.
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 edged up to 3.12% from 3.10%. (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 climbed to $95.14 from $94.18 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 $1,768 from $1,756 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 — increased to 50 from 47 out of 100. (Bad 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 hold steady or close to steady. 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?
Here’s why mortgage rates just might fall tomorrow. That’s when Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will give a hugely important speech at the annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Forum in Wyoming. And all markets (including the one that largely determines mortgage rates) will be listening intently and ready to act on what he says.
Indeed, the likely driver behind recent rises in mortgage rates is investors adjusting their portfolios ahead of the speech. If that’s true, those investors are expecting Mr. Powell to take a tough line on the Fed’s future interest rate hikes. CNN Business suggested yesterday what they want to hear:
So, what will Jay Powell say when he takes the stage Friday? And what will markets do? Lord knows. But it’s clear Wall Street is hungry for reassurance. Investors want the Fed to fight inflation, then back off immediately. Be hawkish, but not too hawkish.
The Fed is currently treading a fine line. It acknowledges that its ambition is to achieve a “soft landing.” That would be an outcome where it tames inflation through higher interest rates without going too far and tipping the economy into a recession.
But many doubt whether that’s possible. And Mr. Powell has previously signaled, in effect, that a recession would be a price worth paying to rein in inflation.
Will markets hear a sufficiently more gentle message from Mr. Powell on Friday that mortgage rates can fall back somewhat? Or will he continue to follow a strong rate-hikes-no-matter-what line?
We’ll have to wait to see. But I’d be surprised were he suddenly to turn from a hawk into a dove.
6% mortgage rates?
I mentioned earlier that the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is now “perilously close to 6%.” If you’re still waiting to lock your rate, you may be surprised by that. Because your lender may well already be offering you one that’s above the 6% mark.
Some of that may be down to your lender’s competitiveness. But much will also depend on your borrower profile. For those with less-than-perfect credit or high existing debts or a minimum down payment, a 6%+ rate might already be a reality.
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.
Recent trends — updated today
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. 25 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.55% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.13%.
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. 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.