Mortgage and refinance rates today, Oct. 3, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
October 3, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates fell a little last Friday. But they moved moderately higher over the entire week, despite a giant tumble last Wednesday. And they climbed significantly over the whole of September.

So far this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to fall. But that seems to be based on a vanishingly minor — though highly visible — U-turn by the government of the United Kingdom. So I wouldn’t bank on that trend surviving the day, let alone much longer.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 7.02% 7.052% -0.07%
 
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.025% 6.083% -0.07%
 
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 7.179% 7.236% Unchanged
 
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 6.113% 6.231% -0.29%
 
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.983% 7.743% -0.04%
 
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 7.083% 7.359% +0.59%
 
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 6.719% 6.953% 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.

Although some experts disagree with me, I doubt we’ll see significant and sustained falls in mortgage rates between now and 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 last Friday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes held steady at 3.70%. (Neutral 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 $84.55 from $79.30 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices barely moved: up to $1,677 from $1,676 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 — rose to 22 from 17 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. 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?

A news alert from The Wall Street Journal yesterday might prove a nasty start to the week. It says the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Moscow-led allies (OPEC+) “is set to consider Wednesday its sharpest production cut since the start of the pandemic to help prop up falling oil prices, a move that could put pressure on global economic growth.”

One of the few glimmers of hope in recent weeks has been a fall in global oil prices, which has been curbing rising inflation. If OPEC+ is going to raise those prices, that’s likely to prolong the Federal Reserve’s battle to tame inflation through interest rate increases.

Both inflation and Fed rate hikes are bad news for mortgage rates.

Also this week

This week’s important economic reports mostly focus on employment. There are a few earlier in the week that could move mortgage rates. But by far the most important is Friday’s official employment situation report for September.

Of course, markets will be looking first at the headline number: how many new jobs were added during that month. A lower-than-expected figure might be good for mortgage rates. That’s partly because those rates tend to fall when the economy slows. But it’s also because a low number would suggest that the Fed’s bitter medicine is, at last, starting to work.

However, investors will also be checking on the average hourly earnings element of that same report. The fear is that salaries could be starting to rise to compensate for higher prices. And that could be a sign that we’re entering a period of “embedded” inflation, during which wages chase prices, which chase wages, which chase prices. In other words, a 1970s-style inflationary spiral.

Again, a lower-than-expected average hourly earnings figure might help mortgage rates fall while a higher one could push them upward.

Of course, we can hope that the OPEC+ initiative stumbles and the employment situation report turns out to be helpful for mortgage rates. But it might be wise to brace for another rough week for those rates.

Today

The United Kingdom’s new government announced overnight a reversal of a tiny element of its highly unpopular (with markets and voters) range of new policies, unveiled on Sep. 23. Investors seem to be greeting the news as if it returns Britain to its former status as a boringly reliable economic environment.

But, in fact, the policy change makes very little difference to the overall picture, which is of a government that no longer controls its economy. Of course, the resulting drop in mortgage rates this morning might last into tomorrow. But I certainly wouldn’t bank on it.

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%.

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.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
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.