Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates tumbled yesterday. But they didn’t fall quite as far as they’d risen the previous day. And they were appreciably higher last night than they were seven days earlier. Worse, those for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages were still above 6% on Friday evening.
If anything, volatility grew last week. And I’m still in no position to predict what will happen to mortgage rates over the coming week.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||6.125%||6.16%||+0.03%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.389%||5.451%||-0.07%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||6.13%||6.183%||-0.06%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.59%||5.695%||+0.38%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.851%||6.582%||-0.08%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.657%||6.19%||-0.07%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.465%||5.687%||-0.04%|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||5.572%||5.924%||-0.13%|
|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.
I’ve recently been suggesting that mortgage rates might catch a bit of a break in September. And that remains a possibility — though no more than that.
But I always err on the side of caution. So, my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
- 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
However, with so much uncertainty at the moment, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine — or better. So let your gut and your own tolerance for risk help guide you.
What’s moving current mortgage rates
The Federal Reserve is trying to tame inflation. And it’s doing that by hiking interest rates generally.
The idea is that prices are rising because demand is outstripping supply. And the classic way to counter that is to reduce demand by slowing the economy. Higher interest rates typically achieve that.
The Fed says it’s still hoping for a “soft landing,” meaning it can slow the economy without throwing it into reverse and causing a recession. But it’s made it clear that it regards a recession as a price worth paying if that’s necessary to tame inflation.
Markets, of course, want the best of both worlds. They want inflation to be reined in without a recession. And they’re keen that the Fed gets a move on so it can quickly pivot, cutting interest rates and creating again an easy-money environment.
What this means for mortgage rates
The Fed famously doesn’t set mortgage rates. But its rate hikes certainly influence all borrowing costs, including those for mortgages.
So, we’re currently in an exaggerated form of the classic position where bad economic news tends to pull mortgage rates down while good economic news usually pushes them up. That applies especially when employment numbers land. However, there’s an exception: good inflation news (prices are falling) tends to pull mortgage rates lower because it likely makes extended future Fed rate hikes less aggressive and prolonged.
In practical terms, mortgage rates have been going up when inflation is rising, and moving down when economic data suggest a recession is likely.
You could see that in Thursday’s sharp rise in mortgage rates. Good jobs numbers on Wednesday and that morning suggested yesterday’s employment situation report might turn out to be surprisingly good. And the prospect of a recession receded. In the event, the report was close to expectations, which is why those rates fell back on Friday.
Economic reports next week
Next week is a relatively quiet one for economic reports. And I’d expect few fireworks.
Reports next week are unlikely to move markets or mortgage rates much unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.
- Tuesday — August purchasing manager indexes (PMIs) for the services sector from S&P and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM)
- Wednesday — July international trade balance
- Thursday — Weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to Sep. 3.
With luck, you can snooze next week.
Mortgage interest rates forecast for next week
My apologies, but I still can’t reinstate my usual weekly forecasts for mortgage rates. Those remain too volatile and unpredictable for me to make even a guess.
How your mortgage interest rate is determined
Mortgage and refinance rates are generally determined by prices in a secondary market (similar to the stock or bond markets) where mortgage-backed securities are traded.
And that’s highly dependent on the economy. So mortgage rates tend to be high when things are going well and low when the economy’s in trouble. But inflation rates can undermine those tendencies.
But you play a big part in determining your own mortgage rate in five ways. And you can affect it significantly by:
- Shopping around for your best mortgage rate — They vary widely from lender to lender
- Boosting your credit score — Even a small bump can make a big difference to your rate and payments
- Saving the biggest down payment you can — Lenders like you to have real skin in this game
- Keeping your other borrowing modest — The lower your other monthly commitments, the bigger the mortgage you can afford
- Choosing your mortgage carefully — Are you better off with a conventional, conforming, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo or another loan?
Time spent getting these ducks in a row can see you winning lower rates.
Remember, they’re not just a mortgage rate
Be sure to count all your forthcoming homeownership costs when you’re working out how big a mortgage you can afford. So focus on your “PITI.” That’s your Principal (pays down the amount you borrowed), Interest (the price of borrowing), (property) Taxes, and (homeowners) Insurance. Our mortgage calculator can help with these.
Depending on your type of mortgage and the size of your down payment, you may have to pay mortgage insurance, too. And that can easily run into three figures every month.
But there are other potential costs. So you’ll have to pay homeowners association dues if you choose to live somewhere with an HOA. And, wherever you live, you should expect repairs and maintenance costs. There’s no landlord to call when things go wrong!
Finally, you’ll find it hard to forget closing costs. You can see those reflected in the annual percentage rate (APR) that lenders will quote you. Because that effectively spreads them out over your loan’s term, making that higher than your straight mortgage rate.
But you may be able to get help with those closing costs and your down payment, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Read:
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 result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.