Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates jumped again yesterday. And Mortgage News Daily is calling last evening’s rate a 20-year high. Even perfect applicants are looking at rates approaching 7%, and those with issues are already facing 7%+ ones.
Mortgage rates today look likely to fall, perhaps appreciably. Things may change later in the day. But they appeared hopeful at approaching 10 a.m. (ET).
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||7.129%||7.164%||+0.36%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.825%||5.943%||+0.06%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||6.583%||6.673%||-0.43%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.85%||6.061%||-0.03%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||7.32%||7.883%||+0.43%|
|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%||Unchanged|
|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.
There may be falls in the coming days and weeks once the current market mayhem subsides (more on that below). And you may wish to continue to float in the hope those drops occur. But, after that, I doubt mortgage rates will fall far or for long between now and the end of the year. And I’d be surprised if they were far outside a 5.5%-6.5% range come the new year.
So, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term 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 rose to 3.93% from 3.77%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were rising soon after opening. (Sometimes bad for mortgage rates.) When investors buy shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes those prices 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 $78.51 from $79.64 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices inched lower to $1,647 from $1,652 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 — edged up to 22 from 20 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, perhaps appreciably. 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?
What on earth’s going on? Nobody was expecting mortgage rates to power higher to around 7%.
The reason for the most recent rises is probably to be found several thousand miles across the Atlantic. I mentioned yesterday the United Kingdom’s economic problems. And it’s likely it’s some backwash from those that’s pushing American bond yields — including the ones that largely determine mortgage rates — higher.
British* Prime Minister Boris Johnson left office two days before the death of Queen Elizabeth II. And his successor, Liz Truss, was immediately caught up in an extended period of national mourning.
So, it was only last Thursday that her chancellor (finance minister) got to deliver to parliament his plans for the economy. And markets really hated what he had to say.
Those markets could probably have lived with the massive government spending he proposed to help consumers with their energy bills. Most European countries are having to introduce similar measures. But he also wanted to slash taxes, especially for richer folk. Investors generally don’t mind that either.
But the chancellor presented no plans for funding lower taxes beyond further borrowing. And that was the equivalent of your trying to spend billions on your “no-limit” Amex card without clearing it with the lender first.
In response, the British pound briefly dropped to an all-time low of $1.03 against the US dollar yesterday, having started the year at $1.34. Some are predicting the two currencies will reach parity within weeks.
And yields on UK government bonds (like our US Treasury bonds but called “gilts” in Britain) shot up, making the chancellor’s planned borrowing much more expensive. The Bank of England (the UK’s equivalent of our Fed) looks likely to have to hike its interest rates at an emergency meeting, perhaps later this week.
Before all this happened, Ms. Truss was predicting that her government’s plans would reduce inflation and promote growth. The opposite looks likely now.
Overnight, pressure eased on the pound and UK government debt, even though the crisis is far from over. That may explain why mortgage rates were falling this morning.
World, meet globalization
Decades ago, there was a saying: “When Wall Street sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold.” America was so economically independent and dominant that it set the agenda for the planet.
But the globalization of finance and trade means we’re all much more interdependent than we were. True, the UK seems to have advanced pneumonia and we’ve only sneezed. But, today, we’re not immune to weird events thousands of miles away.
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background about mortgage rates generally.
*I've used the terms "United Kingdom" and "Britain" interchangeably, as is common there. Technically, Britain comprises England, Scotland and Wales while the UK comprises those nations plus Northern Ireland.
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. Belatedly, Freddie says it plans to stop including discount points in its forecasts later this year.
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.
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.