Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 2, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 2, 2022 - 8 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates jumped sharply yesterday. Those for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages are well above 6% and are close to setting a new 14-year high.

So far this morning, markets are signaling that mortgage rates today might fall. That was the early reaction to today’s jobs report. However, markets sometimes change direction after such reports as they reflect further on the data.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.096% 6.127% +0.09%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.463% 5.525% +0.03%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.185% 6.245% +0.14%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.216% 5.314% -0.03%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.895% 6.665% +0.15%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.724% 6.265% +0.07%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.511% 5.732% Unchanged
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.697% 6.05% +0.09%
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.

Let’s hope yesterday’s big jump in mortgage rates isn’t going to be representative of the entire month of September. But, even if we do see some falls later in the month, I’m worried they could be shallow and short-lived.

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

>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 fell to 3.20% from 3.24%. (Good for mortgage rates.) 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 increased to $88.68 from $87.95 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 $1,720 from $1,708 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 — nudged up to 52 from 49 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 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?

What happened yesterday? Well, the morning brought some good news about the labor market, ahead of this morning’s all-important, official employment situation report for August. We’ll get into why that roiled markets in a minute. But let’s look at today’s data first.

As I reported yesterday, economists polled by MarketWatch were expecting this morning’s report to show 318,000 new jobs (“nonfarm payrolls”), the unemployment rate to remain at an exceptionally low 3.5%, and average hourly earnings to have risen by 0.4%, compared with 0.5% in July.

In the event, the actual numbers were 315,000 new jobs, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7%. Average hourly earnings came in a 0.3%.

The New York Times (paywall) greeted the news thus: “Job growth slowed in August but stayed solid, suggesting that rising interest rates and fear of a possible recession are leading companies to pull back on hiring — but that the labor market recovery remains resilient.”

The Wall Street Journal said: “Despite the Fed’s rate increases, the labor market remains tight, with elevated job openings and falling unemployment claims.”

The Financial Times’s take was: “The pace of US jobs growth slowed in August after an unexpected acceleration the previous month, though it remained high enough to suggest the Federal Reserve will plough [British spelling of “plow”] ahead with its aggressive tightening of monetary policy.”

Why mortgage rates are so sensitive to jobs data

Mortgage rates often move in response to monthly employment situation reports. But they’re especially sensitive to those data now.

How come? Because investors are desperate for signs that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are slowing the economy enough to tame inflation. And good labor market numbers suggest we’re still a long way off the sort of recession that might slow demand and cool prices.

That would mean the Fed will have to keep hiking rates harder and for longer until the economy finally contracts. Markets were hoping the central bank would be able to pivot soon, returning quickly to the recent easy-money environment that has delivered such riches to Wall Street. But there are few signs of that yet.

As I’ve discussed here several times before, there was always a chance that the Fed’s rate hikes wouldn’t immediately deliver lower prices. Those prices mostly rose as a result of ruptured supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and more recently during Russia’s war in Ukraine. They weren’t caused by Fed monetary policy, something even the Fed recognized up until the end of last year.

So using Fed monetary policy to cool inflation is perverse. True, it should ultimately work, because a bad enough recession would curb demand to match restricted supply, allowing prices to moderate. But it looks set to be a long, drawn-out and painful process.

For now, the old rules apply. Good economic news tends to push mortgage rates higher while bad usually pulls them lower.

Mortgage rates fell when this morning’s employment report was published. However, markets sometimes change direction after important announcements as they slowly digest the data. We’ll see how that turns out today.

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 Sep. 1 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.66% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.55%. Freddie captures most of the data for its Thursday weekly reports on the previous Monday. And much of that day’s sharp rise won’t have been reflected in its latest figures.

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.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
Fannie Mae5.1%4.8% 4.7%4.5%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.3%5.2% 5.1%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. 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.