Mortgage rates today, Nov. 18, and rate forecast for next week

November 18, 2023 - 5 min read

Today’s mortgage rates

Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday, just inching upward. And that means those rates are appreciably lower than they were seven days ago. Indeed, they’re close to their lowest level since the end of September.

I’m hoping mortgage rates might not move too far next week. That’s because it’s a short week owing to the Thanksgiving holiday and no major economic data are scheduled for the period.

But there are never guarantees with these predictions. And, occasionally, weeks containing important holidays throw up volatility, perhaps because so many seasoned investors and traders are away from their desks.

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Current mortgage and refinance rates

ProgramMortgage RateAPR*Change
Conventional 30-year fixed
Conventional 30-year fixed 7.34% 7.36% +0.04
Conventional 15-year fixed
Conventional 15-year fixed 6.76% 6.79% +0.03
Conventional 20-year fixed
Conventional 20-year fixed 7.07% 7.09% -0.11
Conventional 10-year fixed
Conventional 10-year fixed 6.66% 6.69% +0.04
30-year fixed FHA
30-year fixed FHA 6.4% 7.08% +0.02
30-year fixed VA
30-year fixed VA 6.72% 6.84% +0.05
5/1 ARM Conventional
5/1 ARM Conventional 6.19% 7.33% 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 See our rate assumptions here.
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Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

The possibility of a sustained and significant downward trend in mortgage rates is growing. With both inflation and the economy cooling, we’re beginning to see space for those rates to fall.

What remains unclear is when that could happen. We’ve had periods this year when mortgage rates fell farther and for longer than they so far have in the current dip. But they soon resumed their climb.

I’m hoping to revise them, perhaps within weeks, but, for now, 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

Next week

There’s a good chance next week will be a non-event for mortgage rates. It’s a short holiday week with little on the calendar that typically moves mortgage rates far.

Normally, I’d be making a big deal about a Federal Reserve publication due next Tuesday afternoon. That document is the minutes of the last meeting of the Fed’s rate-setting committee.

And investors and analysts usually pore over those, hoping for hints about future hikes or cuts in general interest rates. But, this time, markets reckon they know what the Fed’s thinking about those. And they’ll probably assume that anything in the minutes that contradicts their current narrative is either out of date or irrelevant.

Three other reports next week have the potential to influence mortgage rates. But they don’t usually move them far.

First up, is Wednesday’s final reading of consumer sentiment in November. How consumers perceive the economy is important for growth.

The other two, which arrive next Friday, are non-identical twins. They’re both initial November readings of purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) from S&P. One measures purchasing activity in the manufacturing sector and the other gauges the same thing in the services sector. Markets are expecting both to decline modestly to reflect what most think is a slowing economy.

Economic reports next week

See the last section for details about the more important economic reports next week.

In the following list of next week’s reports, only those in bold typically have the potential to affect mortgage rates appreciably. The others probably won’t have much impact unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.

  • Monday — October leading economic indicators
  • Tuesday — October existing home sales. Plus Minutes of the last meeting of the Fed’s rate-setting committee
  • Wednesday — November consumer sentiment. And October durable goods orders. Plus initial claims for jobless benefits for the week ending Nov. 18
  • Thursday — Thanksgiving holiday. Markets closed
  • Friday — November PMIs from S&P for the services and manufacturing sectors

Let’s hope that next week is a quiet one for mortgage rates, leaving them near their lowest level since the end of September.

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Mortgage rates forecast for next week

It seems to me to be reasonable to hope that mortgage rates next week might change little. True, weeks containing important holidays sometimes bring volatility. But there’s not much on the calendar that looks likely to trigger that.

How your mortgage interest rate is determined

A bond market generally determines mortgage and refinance rates. It’s the one where trading in mortgage-backed securities takes place.

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 something called you “PITI.” That stands for:

  • Principal — Pays down the amount you borrowed
  • Interest — The price of borrowing
  • Taxes — Specifically property taxes
  • Insurance — Specifically 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 rate 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 2023

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.

Peter Warden
Authored By: Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
Peter Warden has been writing for a decade about mortgages, personal finance, credit cards, and insurance. His work has appeared across a wide range of media. He lives in a small town with his partner of 25 years.