Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 12, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 12, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates fell modestly last Friday. And they dropped by an appreciable amount over the whole week.

Earlier this morning, markets were signaling that mortgage rates today might fall again. But the momentum isn’t strong. So that may change later in the day.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.21% 6.243% -0.01%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.3% 5.331% Unchanged
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.161% 6.221% Unchanged
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.717% 5.834% -0.01%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.158% 7.042% +0.04%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.714% 6.322% Unchanged
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.985% 6.222% -0.03%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.75% 6.104% 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.

Of course, nobody knows for sure what will happen to mortgage rates. But I think it more likely they’ll move a little higher rather than fall between now and the end of 2022. Of course, there will still be periods of falls. But I doubt they’ll be significant and sustained.

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 10:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly 9:50 a.m. last Friday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes held steady at 3.30%. (Neutral 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 climbed to $88.89 from $85.86 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices increased to $1,738 from $1,725 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 — moved up to 49 from 45 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?

Last week was a good one for mortgage rates. But what might this week bring?

That will likely be decided tomorrow morning. That’s when August’s consumer price index (CPI) is published.

The CPI is a measure of inflation, which is a particular obsession of markets at the moment. If prices were still rising sharply last month, that will probably bring higher mortgage rates for days or weeks to come.

That’s partly because bond markets (one of which largely determines mortgage rates) hate inflation. But also because it makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates aggressively on Sep. 21.

Of course, if price rises are showing signs of slowing, mortgage rates could drop tomorrow. But don’t expect too much too soon. The Fed has already said that it wants “several months” of more slowly rising prices before it changes its planned rate hikes.

Of course, we’ve all seen at gas pumps the recent falls in energy prices. And you can expect that to show up in lower inflation figures. But the Fed and many economists think that “core CPI” is more important than the raw number. And that’s the CPI with volatile energy and food prices stripped out.

So, core CPI shows how underlying prices are moving once the fireworks are taken away. Watch out for it as much as the headline figure.

Finally, it’s always possible that both CPI and core CPI will come in as already forecast by economists. Then mortgage rates might change little. According to Comerica Bank, the year-over-year consensus forecasts for tomorrow are 8.1% (CPI) and 6.1% (core CPI).

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. 8 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.89% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.66%.

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.

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 too 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.