Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 23, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 23, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates rose sharply yesterday. It wasn’t, by some measures, the biggest one-day jump in the last month. But it was close to it.

Mortgage rates today might barely move, judging from markets at approaching 10 a.m. (ET). But they were appreciably higher earlier. So, I shouldn’t bank on things staying the same throughout the day.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.742% 6.776% +0.35%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.815% 5.877% -0.06%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.843% 6.895% +0.07%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.976% 6.093% +0.21%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.735% 7.439% +0.1%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 6.5% 6.766% -0.11%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 6.513% 6.749% +0.48%
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.

While it’s not impossible that a serious recession could force mortgage rates lower, I reckon it’s more likely that they’ll continue to rise or hold at roughly their current level.

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 climbed to 3.71% from 3.66%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were falling 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 tumbled to $79.29 from $85.75 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices fell to $1,655 from $1,685 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 — fell to 26 from 33 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 barely move. 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?

I wrote yesterday about Wednesday’s appreciable fall in mortgage rates: “I’m not sure markets will sustain their knee-jerk reaction once they have a chance to reflect on the fact that nothing much has changed. If I’m right, mortgage rates may soon begin to edge higher again. But let’s hope I’m wrong about the direction of those rates ...”

Well, all our hoping didn’t help. Because mortgage rates shot up yesterday.

Was yesterday’s rise a delayed reaction to the Federal Reserve’s announcements on Wednesday? Almost certainly. At least, I’ve not read any market watchers who think otherwise.

What else could it be? True, the Bank of England (a central bank and therefore the UK’s equivalent of our Fed) hiked its rates yesterday. But everyone expected that. And, anyway, it would be way beyond unusual for mortgage rates to experience more than a twinge as a result of any BoE action.

Nope, it’s looking as if markets took fright at the Fed’s hardline rhetoric on Wednesday and then calmed down yesterday.

And that’s not good news for mortgage rates going forward. Because it implies that they’re yet to reach the ceiling above which markets are uncomfortable with their level.

What’s next for mortgage rates?

So far this year, I’ve been relentlessly pessimistic about mortgage rates — much more so than most other forecasters. I guess I take some professional pride in having been right (so far) to be so. But I’d prefer to have been proved wrong.

Yesterday, The Mortgage Reports published Mortgage interest rate predictions: Will rates go down in October 2022? Of the six experts quoted, four thought mortgage rates would moderate, one thought they’d fall and one thought they’d rise.

I’m happy to be on the side of the majority. Surely, these rapid rises in mortgage rates can’t last forever. And it seems reasonable to hope they’ll settle down a bit in October.

Of course, there will still be some volatility, with scary rises and exciting falls. But I don’t see it as unrealistic to speculate that they’ll end that month roughly where they started it.

If you think the last sentence contained too many weasel words, you’re right. Nobody knows what will happen to mortgage rates. And it’s important that I don’t mislead you with fake certainties. All I can ever do is weigh the evidence I can see and tell you what I think.

Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.

According to Freddie Mac’s archives, the weekly all-time low for mortgage rates was set on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for conventional, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Freddie’s Sep. 22 report put that same weekly average at 6.29% (with 0.9 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 6.02%.

Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.9 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 Sep. 21 and the MBA’s on Sep. 20. Freddie’s came out around Jul. 21. But it now releases forecasts only quarterly. So, its figures soon turn stale.

Fannie Mae5.4%5.7% 5.7%5.6%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.5%5.5% 5.3%5.3%

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.

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The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.