Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 24, and rate forecast for next week

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 24, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates moved moderately higher yesterday. Unfortunately, that capped another bad week for those rates, which ended with yet another 14-year high.

Once again, I can’t provide a worthwhile forecast for where mortgage rates will head over the next seven days. On the one hand, those rates often fall after a period of sharp rises. On the other, markets remain spooked by the Federal Reserve.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.757% 6.79% +0.01%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.81% 5.88% Unchanged
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.776% 6.827% -0.07%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.973% 6.092% Unchanged
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.728% 7.427% -0.01%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 6.5% 6.766% -0.11%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 6.618% 6.851% +0.1%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 6.125% 6.483% 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, we’ll continue to see mortgage rates rising and falling. But I’m not expecting any sustained and significant reductions over the rest of this year.

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

It was the Federal Reserve that moved mortgage rates last week. Those rates rose sharply before the Fed made various announcements. Then, surprisingly, they fell modestly during the afternoon of those announcements. And, after that brief break, they resumed their relentless rises.

Might we have better news this week? It’s possible but far from guaranteed.

To start with, mortgage rates often fall after periods when they’ve risen sharply. But that happens only (and not always) when they’re done rising and investors wonder if they’ve gone too far. And nobody knows if and when they’ll reach that point.

Then there’s inflation. Next Friday brings the Personal Consumption and Expenditures (PCE) report for August. And, as we know from painful experience, such inflation reports are both unpredictable and potentially disruptive for mortgage rates. That’s especially true for the PCE one because it is the Fed’s favorite, meaning it’s the one most likely to influence the central bank’s next interest rate hike.

All next week, investors will be betting on whether the PCE shows inflation moderating or even falling (mortgage rates might fall) or persisting at its recent high levels (mortgage rates could rise). When investors are wagering on the unknowable, you can expect general market volatility, including for those rates.

Mortgage rates over the rest of this year

As the fourth quarter of 2022 looms, experts are divided over the direction mortgage rates will take for the rest of this year. For example, Fannie Mae’s economics team expects them to average 5.7% over the next three months.

Naturally, Fannie’s forecast is a possibility. But it would require rates for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to tumble an entire percentage point (1%) from last night’s closing level.

Personally, I struggle to see that happening while the Fed continues to hike its rates aggressively. And it seems determined to continue to do that.

Page 4 of the Fed’s Summary of Economic Projections, published Sep. 21, shows the latest “dot plot.” That lays out where individual members of its rate-setting committee expect the federal funds rate to move in the future. And most of those members expect that rate to rise to at least 4.25%-4.5% by the end of 2022.

That’s up from 3.0%-3.25% after the Fed’s Wednesday hike. And, six months ago, that rate stood at 0.2%. So, there’s no sign of the Fed easing up on rate hikes this year. Nor, according to the dot plot, of falls in 2023. That suggests the federal funds rate will average 4.75%-5% that year.

I should add that the federal funds rate only indirectly affects mortgage rates for new loans (and existing fixed-rate mortgages won’t be touched by it). But it does directly affect almost all variable rates, including those for adjustable-rate mortgages. And it exerts a strong influence on the market that mostly determines new mortgage rates.

An outside chance of lower mortgage rates

Can mortgage rates fall far and for long while the Fed is hiking its rate so aggressively? In theory, it’s possible. A bad enough recession might drag them down despite the Fed’s best efforts.

But the Fed has been explicit that no future recession would deter it from hiking its rate in order to tame inflation. And falling mortgage rates might provoke it to push the federal funds rate even higher.

So, personally, I largely discount the chances of a recession producing lower mortgage rates over the next three months. But, as I say, it’s not impossible.

In any event, there’s little sign of a serious recession yet. For example, unemployment remains very low at 3.7% in August.

And yesterday’s purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) from S&P Global showed the composite PMI (across both the manufacturing and service sectors) performing well. Yesterday, Comerica Bank reported the composite “rose to a three-month high of 49.3 in September, well above the 46.1 consensus. Both manufacturers and service providers reported an uptick in new orders. Cost inflation was reported to be rising at the slowest pace in several months. Hiring continued, albeit at a slower pace.”

Of course, with slowdowns in several important economies in Europe and Asia, America might soon be pulled into a global recession. But we don’t seem close to that yet.

Economic reports next week

Next week’s important report is Friday’s personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) data (see above). That really is critical for mortgage rates.

In the following list, key reports are in bold. Others next week are unlikely to move markets or mortgage rates much unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.

  • Tuesday — August orders for durable goods and core capital goods. Plus July home price indexes from Case Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Also, September’s consumer confidence index and August’s new home sales
  • Wednesday — August trade in goods. Plus that month’s pending home sales index
  • Thursday — Real gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2022 (final reading). And weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to Sep. 24.
  • Friday — August PCE report. Plus the consumer sentiment index and consumers' 5-year expected inflation, both also for August.

Friday is the key day next week. But note that swarms of top Fed officials have speaking engagements during the week. They’ll probably just reinforce messages from this Wednesday. But they could affect mortgage rates if they say something unexpected.

Mortgage interest rates forecast for next week

If you want to know where mortgage rates will move next week, consult your horoscope. It’s likely to be roughly as accurate as I can be amid so much volatility and uncertainty.

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.

Your part

But you play a big part in determining your own mortgage rate in five ways. And you can affect it significantly by:

  1. Shopping around for your best mortgage rate — They vary widely from lender to lender
  2. Boosting your credit score — Even a small bump can make a big difference to your rate and payments
  3. Saving the biggest down payment you can — Lenders like you to have real skin in this game
  4. Keeping your other borrowing modest — The lower your other monthly commitments, the bigger the mortgage you can afford
  5. 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:

Down payment assistance programs in every state for 2021

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.