Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday, just inching imperceptibly higher. If you compare yesterday’s closing rate with the one on Aug. 31, all the ups and downs in between have resulted in next to nothing. These rates have hardly moved at all.
First thing, mortgage rates today looked likely to rise, perhaps significantly. That’s likely a result of this morning’s consumer price index figures. But, remember! Markets sometimes take time to digest new data, and the initial reaction doesn’t always last.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||6.137%||6.166%||-0.08%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.334%||5.371%||+0.04%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||6.289%||6.345%||+0.12%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.722%||5.845%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||6.168%||7.059%||+0.02%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.721%||6.331%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.696%||5.921%||-0.3%|
|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.
I still think it slightly more likely that mortgage rates will slowly rise over the next few months than that they’ll fall.
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 10:50 a.m. yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes jumped to 3.44% from 3.30%. (Very bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were tumbling soon after opening. (Sometimes 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 fell back to $88.10 from $88.89 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices decreased to $1,718 from $1,738 an ounce. (Bad 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 — edged down to 46 from 49 out of 100. (Good 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?
I explained yesterday why this morning’s consumer price index (CPI) had the potential to be so important. Briefly, a higher-than-expected CPI and core CPI would suggest inflation was far from tamed, likely pushing mortgage rates higher. Lower-than-expected figures would probably pull down those rates.
So, what was expected? Well, overnight MarketWatch was showing the consensus among economists whom it had polled. Year-over-year, they were forecasting that this morning’s numbers would be 8% for CPI and 6% for core CPI.
In the event, the actual figures reported at 8:30 a.m. (ET) were 8.3% for CPI and 6.3% for core CPI. The Wall Street Journal reported, “U.S. Inflation Eases Slightly” while The Financial Times said, “The US inflation rate was higher than forecast.”
Weirdly, they were both right. Over the month of August, CPI was up 0.1%, compared with July’s 0.0% holding steady. And core CPI rose by 0.6% compared with July’s 0.3%. Some easing! But year-over-year figures were lower than in July. Markets will this morning be deciding which interpretation they prefer. And so far, they’re taking the news badly and pushing up mortgage rates.
Please note that markets don’t always stick to their initial reaction to data. Sometimes, they head off in the opposite direction later in the day, once they’ve had a chance to reflect on the numbers.
There are other potentially influential inflation reports due out this week, though none as critical as the CPI. But you should keep an eye on Thursday’s retail sales data for August, which have little to do directly with inflation, but that sheds light on how the economy’s holding up.
Uncertain future for mortgage rates
I’ve said that I think it is slightly more likely that, overall, mortgage rates will rise modestly rather than fall between now and the end of this year. And I stand by that.
However, “slightly more likely” suggests the high level of uncertainty currently in markets. And there are possible scenarios that could see those rates fall. For example, the chances of a global recession are real, following the disruption caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine on top of the earlier upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic. The US is more insulated than most advanced economies against this. But globalization has made that insulation thinner.
So, there’s hope for lower mortgage rates, though the cost for the country as a whole would be high.
Possibility of much higher mortgage rates
But there are also risks. On Sep. 11, The New York Times (paywall) ran a long article about the threat to US bond markets posed by the Federal Reserve.
Some traders worry that the $25 trillion U.S. Treasury market is becoming more fragile, and the Federal Reserve’s removal of support could make it worse.-- Fed’s Exit Puts World’s Biggest Bond Market on Shakier Ground, NYT, Sep. 11, 2022
The article noted that the Fed has discontinued support for key bond markets: the one that finances government debt and the one that largely determines mortgage rates. It continued: “At its worst, a Treasury trading breakdown could cause the value of the dollar, stocks and other bonds to tumble.”
It’s the tumbling of the value of “other bonds” that should worry us. Because one of those, the mortgage-backed security (MBS), plays a huge role in setting mortgage rates. If the value (price) of those tumbles, yields and mortgage rates will inevitably climb at the same rate.
The Times quoted various bond market experts. Some appeared petrified by the prospect, while others thought it was unlikely to be allowed to grow into all that big a deal. But it’s another big chunk of uncertainty to be added to an already towering pile.
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.
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.