Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 29, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 29, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates fell very significantly yesterday, a welcome relief after a terrible few weeks. But it’s much too soon to see this as a turning point. Indeed, there’s a good chance this period of falls will turn out to be very brief.

Average rates might climb today. It’s unlikely any rise will outweigh yesterday’s fall. But, first thing, markets looked set to deliver an appreciable increase.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.736% 6.767% -0.41%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.333% 6.358% -0.21%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.997% 7.039% -0.35%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.968% 6.085% +0.02%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.881% 7.563% +0.27%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 7.083% 7.359% +0.59%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 6.477% 6.709% -0.3%
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.

Might yesterday’s fall be the start of better times for mortgage rates? Well, yes. That’s possible. But read on for my reasons for thinking it may be a very brief improvement. Only time will tell.

But, 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 fell to 3.79% from 3.83%. (Good for mortgage rates.) But they were rising this morning. More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were sharply lower soon after opening. (Sometimes good 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 $81.82 from $79.29 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices inched higher to $1,662 from $1,651 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 — inched down to 16 from 17 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:

  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?

What happened yesterday? Some of that fall may have been down to mortgage rates catching up with yields on mortgage-backed securities. But we have to travel back to the United Kingdom for the full picture.

The UK got a new government two days before Queen Elizabeth II died. Last Friday, its new chancellor (Britain’s equivalent of our treasury secretary) unveiled his plans for the economy. And markets hated them.

The British currency, the pound, plunged against the US dollar and other currencies. And yields on “gilts” (think US Treasury bonds) climbed. On Sunday, the chancellor doubled down on his proposals in a TV interview. And, predictably, things got worse.

Yesterday, the Bank of England, the UK’s central bank and the equivalent of our Federal Reserve, was forced to intervene to try to stop gilt yields rising so fast. Those increases were putting some pension funds at risk of collapse.

And the bank succeeded. But only by agreeing to buy gilts worth up to £5 billion ($5.37 billion) every day between now and Oct. 14, all guaranteed by the taxpayer. In response, gilt yields fell sharply and the pound nudged higher.

After an absolute silence since Sunday, the government this morning (UK time) finally did the media rounds. That might not have been wise. Chris Philp is the chancellor’s top lieutenant, and his line was to deny that there was any connection at all between the recent market mayhem and his boss’s announcements. One radio interviewer was apoplectic, yelling at Chris Philp, “Stop treating my listeners as fools!”

It’s not yet possible to join the dots between Mr. Philp’s interviews and a subsequent increase in gilt yields and fall in the pound. However, with so much volatility, who knows how long that will last?

What does the UK have to do with American mortgage rates?

We live in a globalized world. And an investor on Wall Street (or in London, Frankfurt, Shanghai, Tokyo and anywhere else) is likely to own UK gilts as well as US Treasury securities and bonds issued by other governments. All those may also own American mortgage-backed securities, a type of bond that (normally) largely determines mortgage rates.

Because bonds are traded globally, a problem in one nation’s market is likely to infect the others. And that’s what we’ve been seeing played out in mortgage rates since the British chancellor stood up in parliament last Friday to deliver his “fiscal event.” And the Bank of England’s intervention may have helped mortgage rates fall yesterday.

All this has created very high levels of volatility. This morning, CNN Business reported, “Bond markets are crumbling,” referring to those in the US. And what happens next is entirely unpredictable. But things weren’t looking promising this morning.

Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background about mortgage rates generally.

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. 29 report put that same weekly average at 6.7% (with 0.9 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 6.29%. That Thursday report won’t have caught the previous day’s sharp fall.

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.

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.