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August
31

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 30, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates jumped significantly yesterday. They're just one day's moderate rise away from breaching the 6% level for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. And some borrowers will already be on the hook for 6%+ rates.

Earlier this morning it was looking as if mortgage rates today might barely move. But that could easily change as the day progresses.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.953% 5.983% +0.09% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.379% 5.439% +0.1% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.001% 6.059% +0.09% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.231% 5.32% +0.11% 
30 year fixed FHA 5.687% 6.45% +0.15% 
15 year fixed FHA 5.585% 6.086% +0.1% 
30 year fixed VA 5.342% 5.561% +0.06% 
15 year fixed VA 5.449% 5.812% 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.

Yesterday's rise in mortgage rates was sobering. Periods of rises are often followed by falls, but those are by no means guaranteed.

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

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 3.07% from 3.10%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were modestly higher soon after opening. (Bad 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 decreased to $93.39 from $95.10 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 $1,742 from $1,751 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 — climbed to 55 from 45 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 hold steady or move modestly. However, be aware that "intraday swings" (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Aug 31st, 2022)

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?

August has been another terrible month for mortgage rates. According to Mortgage News Daily's archives, the average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage started the month at 5.05% and closed yesterday evening at 5.95%.

So, it would take a miracle today and tomorrow for this month to be less than a disaster. And, even then, it would still have been bad.

Yesterday, I suggested that September may be less awful than August. That's because it's usually a poor month for stocks, and investors might put some of the money from their sales into mortgage bonds. That should exert downward pressure on mortgage rates. Unfortunately, there should be other forces — notably inflation — likely pushing them higher.

Personally, I see little prospect of sustained falls in mortgage rates this side of 2023. But the expert economists at Fannie Mae and the Mortgage Bankers Association disagree. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice.

Yesterday

Financial media seem close to unanimity that yesterday's mortgage rate rises were a result of last Friday's crucial speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. In some ways, he said what everyone expected. Namely, that the Fed would continue to hike general interest rates for the foreseeable future.

But he failed to give any indication of when the Fed would pivot away from rate rises and return to the easy-money environment that benefits Wall Street so much.

Mr. Powell started his speech at 10 a.m. (ET) on Friday. So you may think it strange that markets had most of a business day to respond — and did so in ways that reduced mortgage rates. But markets can take a while to digest new information. All those uber-smart minds, backed up by the highest of high-tech computer systems, simply aren't as instantly responsive as they'd like you to think.

So, I was right when I predicted that, if hawkish, Mr. Powell's speech would probably push mortgage rates higher. But I was wrong about the timing.

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

Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they've been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although they've been kinder since May.

Freddie's Aug. 25 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.55% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week's 5.13%.

Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points ("with 0.8 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 Aug. 22 and the MBA's on Aug. 23. Freddie's came out around Jul. 21. But it now releases forecasts only quarterly. So, expect its figures to look stale soon.

Forecaster Q3/22 Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23
Fannie Mae 5.1% 4.8%  4.7% 4.5%
Freddie Mac 5.5% 5.4%  5.2% 5.2%
MBA 5.3% 5.2%  5.1% 5.0%

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 wildly 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."

Verify your new rate (Aug 31st, 2022)

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.

August
24

6 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast

How to generate interest in your house

If you're ready to sell your home, you may have reason to want to sell it fast. Whether you're relocating for a new job that starts soon or have a pending offer on a new place, it's important to drum up interest in your house especially if you're looking to close quickly. The more potential buyers you can attract, the better your chances of selling fast - and at a good price.

Whatever your reasons for selling, here are six ways to sell a house quickly even in a slow market.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • When looking to sell a home quickly, begin by hiring a real estate agent to manage much of the process on your behalf.
  • You or your agent can price the home competitively and can adjust the terms and conditions if there is lukewarm initial interest.
  • Prior to showings, clean the whole house, remove clutter, and hide personal items so buyers can picture themselves in the space.
  • Boost the curb appeal to make the right first impression. Clear away the cobwebs, paint the front door, and plant flowers.
  • Offer terms that might sweeten the deal for buyers—such as paying part of the closing costs.

1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent

If you want to sell your home fast, the first step is to hire a real estate agent. The ideal person will know the local market and have a sales record that proves they know how to sell. Keep in mind the seller is often responsible for paying the commission for both the buyer and seller agent. In exchange for the convenience of an agent, you're likely on the hook for a selling commission between 2%-4% of your selling price.

Keep in mind that a real estate agent will help with the entire process. They'll oversee the professional photographer who will take top-notch photos of your home as well as negotiate the best price. They also will write up a real estate listing that sells, schedule and host showings, and market your property to get it seen.

2. Price It to Sell

One of the most effective ways to sell your home fast is to price it competitively. If you price it too high, you detract prospective buyers out price out potential bidders. In addition, it make take longer to settle the negotiation process if prospective buyers want your price to come down.

Your real estate agent (or realtor) will research comparable homes (aka "comps") in your area to set a realistic price. If you really need to sell fast, then consider pricing your home a little lower to attract interest (and maybe even spark a bidding war). If you haven't received any offers by a certain date, your agent can further reduce your selling price.

It's also helpful to think about the price points that buyers search for in your area. If you list your home for $302,000, for example, then you'll miss all the potential buyers who are looking for homes under $300,000. It's probably not worth asking for the extra $2,000 if it means fewer buyers will see the home.

Just-below pricing is a popular pricing strategy as $299,000 has a different psychological effect on consumers than $300,000. This pricing strategy is employed throughout supermarkets and online retail.

3. Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize

Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space, but they won't be able to if your house is a mess. Give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, and hide the family photos and other personal items. It's fairly standard industry practice to hire external cleaners especially prior to a major showing.

Rearrange the furniture so your home looks inviting and so buyers can move through your home without bumping into anything. If necessary, put bulky items in storage. A crowded room looks like a small room.

Consider hiring a stager to help you showcase your home's best assets, impress potential buyers, and sell it quickly for the best possible price. Staging isn't cheap, but the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that, on average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.1

4. Boost Your Curb Appeal

If you want to sell quickly, it's essential to make a good first impression. The first thing a buyer sees is a home's exterior and how it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. To boost your home's curb appeal, give attention to both the house and its surroundings.

It may be too late to do major renovations. If a sale is urgent, consider minor repairs and maintenance to the outside of your house such as touch-up painting, window washing, and fixing anything broken. If repainting your entire house doesn't fit in your timeline, slap a coat of paint on just your door. You can also swap out your address numbers or door handles for newer, more attractive replacements.

If applicable, make sure the pathway from the curb to your porch is clean and safe to walk on. This includes straightening any uneven paths and pruning overgrown bushes. In addition to being a safety hazard, you want to make sure prospective buyers can see and focus on the appearance of the house as they approach.

Don't forget the lights! Swap out exterior and interior lightbulbs especially if you are showing your house later in the evening or during winter.

There's plenty to do with your surroundings as well. Plant flowers or sprinkle bark mulch to give your yard a freshly-landscaped feel. Lay out a welcome mat and make sure your mailbox is clean. Dust away spiderwebs and debris from windows, eaves, and porches.

Not only does a positive curb appeal welcome prospective buyers, it signals to the market that you've cared for the home and they can believe the rest of the house has been well-taken care of as well.

5. Take Care of Quick Repairs

You won't have time for any major renovations, so focus on quick repairs to address things that could deter potential buyers. Survey the house and take care of the easy fixes including:

  • Fix all loose tiles in the bathroom or kitchen.
  • Fix all loose hinges on doors or cabinets.
  • Unclog or replace stuck drawer tracks.
  • Repair any leaky faucets and ensure all plumbing systems work.
  • Remove carpet stains or refinish hardwood floors.

Depending on how much time and money you want to spend getting the home ready, you might also want to update fixtures, buy new appliances, install new hardware on the cabinets, and give the interior a fresh coat of (neutral) paint.

If you want your home to sell fast, consider only working with cash buyers or buyers who have secured financing pre-approval. Buyers who have not been approved may delay the process and end up not qualifying for your home.

6. Sweeten the Deal

Another way to make the home and deal more attractive is to offer something to sweeten the pot. Buyers love financial incentives, and if you are pressed for time, consider how you can make your offer attractive. Examples include:

  • covering all closing costs.
  • accommodating move-out/move-in schedules with the buyer's preference.
  • agreeing to all inspections.
  • agreeing to pay for known items of concern to a buyer.
  • offering a transferable home warranty that provides discounted repair and replacement services for household appliances and systems.

How Do I Sell My Home Fast?

If you need to sell your home quickly, consider the short-term improvements to both the interior and exterior of your home. Consider hiring a real estate agent, photographer, and staging company. Be prepared to have flexibility on sale terms and conditions.

Should I Hire a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent handles many aspects of selling your home for you including researching the market, coordinating viewings, and negotiating the price. For these services, the seller often pays the agent a commission between 2% and 4%.

For some, the cost is too high and the service might not be worth it. For many, a real estate agent is indispensable as they often provide peace of mind during the selling process.

How Long Is the Home Closing Process?

The average home closing process lasts between 30 and 45 days. Delays are also possible, though you can close quicker if you and the other party are prepared.

The Bottom Line

Selling a home can be stressful—even more so if you're on a tight deadline. Fortunately, whether you need to sell fast because of a new job, a life event (e.g., a divorce), or financial reasons, there are ways to speed up the process.

If you don't have a big budget to get your home sell-ready, focus on that first impression of what buyers will see when they see your home for the first time. Buyers can make a decision within seconds—a few from the curb, and a few when they step inside the front door. Make those seconds count with a great agent, spruced-up house, and strong financial offer.

August
23

West Michigan is a photographer's paradise. Here's where you can snap stunning pictures.

Photography is one of our favorite art forms, and it's especially fun when you live in a beautiful place like West Michigan. When you're surrounded by tulips, shorelines, lighthouses, and windmills, you won't have trouble finding beautiful subjects for your photo shoots.

Great photography takes a good eye and a lot of practice. Our real estate agents have been dabbling in photography lately and are always on the lookout for new beautiful landscapes to hone their skills. Here are some of our favorite places to snap amazing pictures in West Michigan:

Click Here to Read More...

August
22

The 20% Mortgage Down Payment Isn't Dead Yet

A 20% down payment usually isn't required to finance a home purchase, and most buyers who finance a home put down less.

But the 20% down payment isn't dead yet. In fact, a growing share of buyers are making down payments of at least 20% to compete in today's sizzling market.

Competitive market prompts higher down payments

Realtors reported that 48% of their home buyer clients made down payments of at least 20% in the first quarter of 2021, up from 46% in all of 2020 and 40% in all of 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors' Confidence Index Survey. Among first-time buyers, almost 28% put down at least 20% in the first quarter, up from almost 26% in 2020 and about 23% in 2011.

A larger down payment strengthens your offer because it assures the seller that you're on solid financial ground and your financing is likely to go through.

For example, if the home appraisal comes in lower than the sales price, you'll need to negotiate with the seller to lower the price or pay more money out of your own pocket. Lenders generally won't approve a loan for more than the home is worth, minus the required down payment.

If you have more than enough for a lender-required down payment, you could use some of that money to make up the difference between the appraisal figure and sales price.

Still, it's important to maintain perspective and make a down payment that's right for you.

The average down payment on a house

Even though a greater share of buyers are putting down 20%, most first-time home buyers don't make that oft-quoted benchmark.

Because outliers can skew an average, the telling figure for what other home buyers put down is the median down payment, meaning half paid that much or above, and half paid that much or below.

For first-time home buyers who financed the purchase, the median down payment was 7%, according to a 2020 survey by the National Association of Realtors. The median down payment for repeat buyers who financed was 16%.

Minimum down payment on a house

The required minimum down payment for a house depends on the type of loan and a lender's criteria. Here are the minimum down payment requirements for the most common types of loans.

  • Conventional loans, which aren't guaranteed by the federal government, can have down payments as low as 3% for qualified buyers. Some lenders offer down payment assistance grants to allow even lower down payments.

  • FHA loans, backed by the Federal Housing Administration, require a minimum 3.5% down. FHA loans allow lower minimum credit scores than conventional loans.

  • VA loans for military service members and veterans, and USDA loans for certain rural and suburban buyers, usually require no down payment. VA loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and USDA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

" MORE: Sign up with NerdWallet to track your savings and reach your down payment goals.

Low minimum down payments: Nothing new

Mortgages with low down payment requirements have been around for decades.

The FHA has backed home loans with 5% down or less since the 1980s. Conventional loans have had them since the 1990s. And some first-time home buyer programs offer down payment assistance that can further reduce upfront costs.

"Some first-time home buyer programs offer down payment assistance that can further reduce upfront costs."

Yet more than three-fifths (62%) of Americans think you need a down payment of 20% or more to buy a home, according to the NerdWallet 2020 Home Buyer Report.  That's likely because a 20% down payment on a conventional loan is considered an exemplar and often used to quote mortgage rates. And it's an important criterion — with 20% down you can avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.

Is it worth putting down 20%?

Aside from making your offer look stronger in a competitive market and avoiding mortgage insurance, making a 20% down payment has other advantages:

  • Your monthly payment will be lower.

  • You'll likely earn a lower mortgage interest rate.

  • Lenders will be more likely to compete for your business.

How much should a first-time buyer put down?

There is no single right answer for everyone. Deciding how much to put down on your first house depends on your financial situation, how long you plan on living in the home, and the housing market in your area.

Here are some general tips:

  • Avoid draining your savings account for a down payment. You'll want to have some money on hand for closing costs, homeowners insurance, and property taxes.

  • Budget for things you'll need to buy after moving in, like a lawn mower for that new lawn, and for home maintenance and repairs.

  • Earn more interest on what you are saving by stashing money in a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit. See NerdWallet's picks for the best high-yield savings accounts and, if you're saving a sum for years ahead, consider the best CD rates.

August
19

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 19, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday. So they remain very close to the high set earlier in the month. Don't believe Freddie Mac's survey that said on Thursday that they fell this week.

Unfortunately, it's looking this morning as if mortgage rates today might rise, perhaps appreciably. Of course, it's always possible these early morning trends might change later in the day. But that's looking less likely today than is often the case.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Aug 19th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.709% 5.744% +0.12% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.119% 5.178% -0.06% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.771% 5.827% Unchanged
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.276% 5.38% +0.14% 
30 year fixed FHA 5.518% 6.248% -0.11% 
15 year fixed FHA 5.387% 5.878% -0.11% 
30 year fixed VA 5.361% 5.584% +0.54% 
15 year fixed VA 5.502% 5.866% -0.28% 
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.

The only way in which I can see mortgage rates falling and staying low is if the world slides swiftly into a serious recession. Of course, that's possible. But let's hope it's unlikely. Absent such a global recession, I suspect those rates will very gradually continue higher.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations are:

  • 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

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 soared to 2.97% from 2.85%. (Very bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were lower soon after opening. (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 increased to $90.81 from $90.14 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices fell to $1,767 from $1,783 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 — nudged lower, to 51 from 54 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, possibly sharply. However, be aware that "intraday swings" (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Aug 19th, 2022)

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?

Yesterday morning, I mentioned that markets seem unwilling to believe the Federal Reserve, no matter how many times it tells them its interest rate hikes will continue. On Thursday, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard was the latest to sound the warning. He said he personally will probably support another huge 75-basis point (0.75%) increase at the Fed's next meeting on Sep. 20-21. And San Francisco Federal Reserve president Mary Daly chose that day to proclaim rate hikes will continue at least into 2023.

Also yesterday, The Wall Street Journal (paywall) made the same point I did. The headline of its story was, "Wall Street Bets the Fed Is Bluffing in High-Stakes Inflation Game." It's an interesting read and I'll explore it more in tomorrow's weekend edition of this newsletter.

Those Wall Street bets are behind some recent falls in mortgage rates. And, if it turns out the Fed isn't bluffing, we may see more rises. My money's on the Fed following through. And, looking at markets this morning, it may be Wall Street is beginning to think so, too.

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

Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they've been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although they've been kinder since May.

Freddie's Aug. 18 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.13% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week's 5.22%. But that won't include that Wednesday's big rise.

Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points ("with 0.8 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. The latest forecasts all appeared around Jul. 21.

Forecaster Q3/22 Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23
Fannie Mae 5.5% 5.4%  5.3% 5.1%
Freddie Mac 5.5% 5.4%  5.2% 5.2%
MBA 5.2% 5.2%  5.0% 5.0%

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.

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."

Verify your new rate (Aug 19th, 2022)

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.

August
17

National Nonprofit Day

August 17, 2022

National Nonprofit Day is commemorated on August 17 each year to recognize nonprofit organizations' ongoing efforts to serve the local community. If you've ever volunteered, you're well aware of the significance of these charitable organizations.

Nonprofits throughout the country work to promote awareness and offer assistance to individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford it. Their activities contribute to the shaping of our society and provide hope for a brighter future.

We all contribute in some manner, whether it's by volunteering, giving, or just spreading the word about a nonprofit. In 2017, Americans donated more than $400 billion to a variety of charity organizations. What a great example of teamwork!

HISTORY OF NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY

The Tariff Act was signed into law on August 17, 1894. It provided exclusions from the federal income tax levied on corporations for charitable organizations and charities. Despite various changes over the years, the exemptions for N.G.O.s remain stable and continue to expedite charity organizations' operations. Incentives like this one make the nonprofit environment more accessible to new organizations.

Sherita J. Herring, an author, and respected speaker launched National Nonprofit Day. Its goal was to educate and empower everyone to be the change we want to see in the world. Recognizing that there are individuals in our midst that require assistance is the first step toward positively changing our society. Charitable organizations have been strong warriors in the struggle to close the wealth divide. They give a forum for people to reach out to the poor, either directly or through donations.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1.5 million registered organizations in the United States. These organizations play a vital role in community development by offering services such as food banks, affordable housing, medical care, legal counsel, and education. Another important contribution of the nonprofit sector is after-school activities; the daycare centers they provide are vital assets to these communities.

The nonprofit sector is a significant contributor to the national economy, employing professionals such as lawyers, engineers, nurses. Following the recession in 2012, the nonprofit sector contributed up to $887.3 billion, amounting to 5.4% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product.

NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY TIMELINE

1897
The Tariff Act is Passed into Law

The Tariff Act, exempting nonprofits from federal income tax, is passed.

1974
National Volunteer Week is Introduced

National Volunteer Week is founded to appreciate the efforts of volunteers in addressing societal challenges.

2012
#GivingTuesday is Founded

The GivingTuesday movement is introduced to appreciate fundraisers and volunteers around the globe.

2012
Nonprofits Contribute to the G.D.P.

The American nonprofit sector contributes $887.3 billion to the Gross Domestic Product.

HOW TO OBSERVE THE NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY

  1. Research your community's needs

    Determine what is needed in your neighborhood and how you might help to improve things. It might be as simple as beginning a project or spending your time in a local business.

  2. Volunteer

    You may help out at a local food bank or homeless shelter by volunteering. Many nonprofit groups operate on a shoestring budget and would be delighted to receive free assistance.

  3. Raise awareness

    Contribute to the efforts of nonprofits around you by posting on social media to raise awareness. You can also start a blog to showcase the charity or nonprofit to the world.

5 FACTS ABOUT THE NONPROFIT SECTOR THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

  1. It is a crowd favorite

    Every year, a quarter of the population of the United States registers to volunteer.

  2. End-of-the-year blues

    Nonprofit organizations get more donations in December than any other month.

  3. The employment genie

    The nonprofit sector is the third-largest employer in the United States, employing over 12 million people and trailing only retail and manufacturing.

  4. The world is becoming a better place

    Donations to nonprofit organizations have reached unprecedented heights in the last 10 years.

  5. Mobile phones are making us nicer people

    Over 10% of nonprofit donations are made via mobile devices.

WHY NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY IS IMPORTANT

  1. Making a difference

    We love Nonprofit Day because it allows us to recognize those who make a difference in our community. We get to work together, start new projects, and, most importantly, affect people's lives.

  2. Nonprofits provide jobs

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks nonprofits as one of the largest employment sources in the U.S. They employ over 10% of America's workforce.

  3. They address sensitive issues

    Nonprofits tackle some of society's toughest challenges. There is a charitable organization for practically every concern, from housing to education.

NATIONAL NONPROFIT DAY DATES

Year Date Day
2022 August 17 Wednesday
2023 August 17 Thursday
2024 August 17 Saturday
2025 August 17 Sunday
2026 August 17 Monday
August
12

National Middle Child Day

If you have siblings, you know the rivalry can get real. Middle children often get less attention from busy parents. But despite the commonly held belief that their insecurity and resentment carry on into adulthood, middle children actually develop some critical skills that help them become successful adults.

Whether or not "Middle Child Syndrome" is real, it's true that middle children, particularly in large families, can get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of daily life. Started in 1986 by Elizabeth Walker, National Middle Child Day celebrates our middle siblings and reminds us that each child is precious and important.

National Middle Child Day is observed to honor that in-between child in the family. The interesting thing is even larger families celebrate more than one middle child, too!

Like every other year, National Middle Child Day 2021 will be celebrated on August 12th.

 

HISTORY OF NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY

Middle children have a reputation for being ignored by their family, consequently growing up resentful, withdrawn, and disaffected. Although research shows little correlation between birth order and personality, the stereotype has persisted in pop culture characters like Jan Brady, who epitomizes the embittered middle child.

In fact, middle children might have some distinct advantages in adult life. The skills they develop as the "forgotten" sibling often translate into important qualities like empathy, diplomacy, and flexibility. In fact, over half of U.S. presidents were middle children, along with many other successful leaders.

Resourceful and independent but also cooperative and patient, middle children often grow up to be good leaders and helpful teammates. They can negotiate a variety of personalities but also do well on their own, and are known as risk-takers and independent thinkers. Because they're frequently left to their own devices, middle children develop a self-sufficiency less common in their older and younger siblings.

Until the 1970s, American families had an average of 2.5 children. Today, due to modernization and economic and environmental pressures, fewer and fewer families have middle children, with the average American family having just under two kids.

National Middle Child Day began in 1986 as a way to celebrate the siblings who feel left out or unseen and give them a special day of their own. Until now, it's been celebrated on August 12.

Not everyone agrees on the holiday's date: the International Middle Child's Union, founded by Bruce Hopman, wants to change National Middle Child Day to July 2, which falls in the exact middle of the calendar year.

NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY TIMELINE

1906
Middle Child Wins Peace Prize

Middle child Teddy Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the Treaty of Portsmouth, exhibiting that famous middle-child diplomacy to end the Russo-Japanese War.

1986
National Middle Child Day First Celebrated

Elizabeth Walker creates National Middle Child Day to give often-forgotten middle kids their own special celebration.

January 9, 2000
Malcolm in the Middle

The hit sitcom first hits airwaves, launching a seven-season franchise about a dysfunctional family and the middle child who — sort of — holds it all together.

March 19, 2000
The Simpsons Predicts Trump

In "Bart to the Future", during the 11th season of the beloved animated sitcom, Lisa Simpson, lovable kid genius and eternal middle child, becomes president – the episode also predicts the presidency of Donald Trump.

NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Send your middle child or sibling a gift

    Let them know you're thinking about them!

  2. Watch some episodes of your favorite TV middle child

    Grab some popcorn and spend some time with your own kids. Take a family poll to see who your favorite TV middle sibling is, and watch a few episodes of that show.

  3. Get in touch with your siblings

    Whether or not you have a middle child in your family, it's never a bad time to reach out to your siblings and say hello.

5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT MIDDLE CHILDREN

  1. Abe Lincoln was a middle child

    Over half of U.S. presidents, including John F. Kennedy, were middle children.

  2. We see middle children as the peacemakers

    In pop culture, middle children are often portrayed as the level-headed, responsible ones who quietly keep their siblings out of trouble. Think Malcolm Wilkerson, Michael Bluth, and Lisa Simpson.

  3. TGIF Crossover

    When Full House's middle daughter, Stephanie Tanner, feels self-conscious about wearing her new glasses, a guest star from another popular TGIF sitcom stops by to cheer her up and give her a lesson in self-confidence. That guest: Steve Urkel, the bespectacled neighbor from Family Matters.

  4. "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"

    Jan and Marcia Brady's rivalry wasn't just good on-screen chemistry; the two actresses didn't have a good relationship during filming, and today they're still not on speaking terms.

  5. Bill Gates started programming as a teen

    Microsoft co-founder, philanthropist, and middle child Bill Gates wrote his first computer program as a teenager. It was a version of tic-tac-toe.

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY

  1. Middle children are going extinct

    Today, most women with children have two children or less—making middle children a quickly disappearing breed. Appreciate the middle children in your life now!

  2. Middle children make great diplomats

    Because they have to navigate the social dynamics of large families growing up, middle children tend to develop strong negotiation skills.

  3. It reminds us to call our relatives

    In today's busy world where people scatter far from their families, it's sometimes hard to remember to check in with relatives. National Middle Child Day gives us an opportunity to reach out to our siblings, children, or grandchildren.

August
10

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home.

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You'll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they'll bid up the price over what it's worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don't want to risk it, but it's the single best strategy to sell a home in today's market.

Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what's left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you'd be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don't want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you're planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #5: Don't over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won't get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You're not actually selling your house, you're selling your kitchen – that's how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you'll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don't leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It's a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It's important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home's exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home's curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you're selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

August
8

The Best Hiking in Holland

Looking for the best hiking in Holland? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping, and more around Holland. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top hiking spots in and near Holland

  • Holland, Michigan

    Riley Trails

    3.07 mi / 115 ft gain
    Riley Trails is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk

    0.47 mi / 95 ft gain
    Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk is an out-and-back trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Climb the Stairs up Mt. Pisgah

    4.3
    0.5 mi / 80 ft gain
    Feel the burn in your calves and thighs! If you don't feel it, pick up the pace or do it all again! The good news is it is actually just a large dune, not an entire mountain. It should not take you very long to run, even though there are over 200 steps here. Every 25th stair is marked and there a...
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Sanctuary Woods

    0.96 mi / 95 ft gain
    Sanctuary Woods is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Explore Tunnel Park

    4.0
    Of course, you can come any time of the year, this is always a lovely small park! It is guaranteed to be crowded and cost money (unless you have the Ottawa County park pass) in the summer, though, and I've had better luck with parking and personal space at Holland State Park. I've found that the ...
    Read more
  • Zeeland, Michigan

    Upper Macatawa Natural Area

    3.83 mi / 157 ft gain
    Upper Macatawa Natural Area is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Zeeland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Saugatuck Dunes Loop

    1.88 mi / 118 ft gain
    Saugatuck Dunes Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Saugatuck Dunes South Trail

    5.25 mi / 456 ft gain
    Saugatuck Dunes South Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Saugatuck, Michigan

    Tallmadge Woods and Crows Nest Loop

    2.1 mi / 303 ft gain
    Crows Nest Loop is a quiet hike on publicly accessible land. It takes you along dunes that hover above the Kalamazoo River. The loop leads you to an overlook with views of Ox-Bow Lagoon and Lake Michigan. This loop is suitable for all levels and is about a 2.1 mile hike.  The trailhead can be tr...
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  • Saugatuck, Michigan

    Mount Baldhead

    0.88 mi / 26 ft gain
    Mount Baldhead is a loop trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Saugatuck, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Pigeon Creek Short Loop

    1.71 mi / 184 ft gain
    Pigeon Creek Short Loop is a loop trail that is good for all skill levels located near Holland, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Holland, Michigan

    Red Pine Loop

    2.8 mi / 322 ft gain
    Red Pine Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near West Olive, Michigan.
    Read more
  • West Olive, Michigan

    Hiawatha Trail

    1.35 mi / 75 ft gain
    Hiawatha Trail is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near West Olive, Michigan.
    Read more
  • West Olive, Michigan

    Kirk Park Loop

    1.15 mi / 43 ft gain
    Kirk Park Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near West Olive, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Georgetown Township, Michigan

    Grand Ravines Loop from South Trailhead

    2.34 mi / 276 ft gain
    Grand Ravines Loop from South Trailhead is a loop trail that takes you by a river located near Jenison, Michigan.
    Read more
  • Georgetown Township, Michigan

    Hager Park Loop

    0.69 mi / 66 ft gain
    Hager Park Loop is a loop trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Jenison, Michigan.
    Read more

    August
    3

    Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 2, 2022

    Today's mortgage and refinance rates

    Average mortgage rates fell yet again yesterday. And that for a conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is now only just over 5%.

    First thing this morning, it was looking as if mortgage rates today might hold steady or close to steady. However, yesterday and last Friday, mortgage rates started out heading higher only to turn around and fall later in the day. When I daily warn that rates sometimes change direction as the hours pass, I mean it.

    Find your lowest rate. Start here (Aug 3rd, 2022)

    Current mortgage and refinance rates

    Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
    Conventional 30 year fixed 5.13% 5.164% -0.1% 
    Conventional 15 year fixed 4.583% 4.635% +0.01% 
    Conventional 20 year fixed 4.991% 5.044% -0.02% 
    Conventional 10 year fixed 4.728% 4.83% Unchanged
    30 year fixed FHA 5.431% 6.277% -0.03% 
    15 year fixed FHA 4.719% 5.198% -0.1% 
    30 year fixed VA 5.197% 5.423% +0.4% 
    15 year fixed VA 4.857% 5.223% -0.01% 
    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.

    Markets, including the one that largely determines mortgage rates, are in a state of heightened uncertainty. So there's an increased danger that my predictions and recommendations could turn out to be wrong.

    Still, the mood among investors and the tide of economic data do seem to have turned sufficiently for there now to be some hope of mortgage rates falling in a sustained way, at least for a while. Just be alert and remain ready to lock your rate if those swing back.

    So, my personal rate lock recommendations are now:

    • LOCK if closing in 7 days
    • LOCK if closing in 15 days
    • FLOAT if closing in 30 days
    • FLOAT if closing in 45 days
    • FLOAT if closing in 60 days

    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 inched down to 2.62% from 2.63%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
    • Major stock indexes were lower soon after opening. (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 rose to $94.58 from $93.95 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 $1,797 from $1,788 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 40 from 39 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 remain steady or close to steady. However, be aware that "intraday swings" (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

    Find your lowest rate. Start here (Aug 3rd, 2022)

    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?

    There was some good news for mortgage rates in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (paywall):

    Growth at U.S. manufacturing companies was its weakest in two years in July, but inflationary pressures showed signs of cooling as commodity prices eased, according to surveys of purchasing managers released Monday.

    Falling orders might not be good news for most. But they're a sign of a contracting economy. And regular readers know that fears of a recession typically bring lower mortgage rates.

    The signs of inflationary pressures cooling were also good for mortgage rates. High inflation tends to push those rates higher, as we saw all too clearly during the first half of this year.

    However, it's too soon to begin popping Champagne corks. High inflation may not be done yet and remains hot in the official data. And there's a good chance of a resurgence in the fall as a looming winter concentrates the minds of the northern hemisphere on oil and natural gas shortages.

    Meanwhile, behind some poor data, the economy isn't doing as badly as many think. We'll discover how that's holding up when July's employment figures are published on Friday.

    All this means that the recovery in mortgage rates over the last few days is fragile. Yes, there are grounds for hope. But there's very little certainty.

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

    Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

    The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

    Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they've been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although May and June were kinder months.

    Freddie's Jul. 28 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.3% (with 0.8 fees and points), down from the previous week's 5.54%.

    Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points ("with 0.8 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. The latest forecasts all appeared around Jul. 21.

    Forecaster Q3/22 Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23
    Fannie Mae 5.5% 5.4%  5.3% 5.1%
    Freddie Mac 5.5% 5.4%  5.2% 5.2%
    MBA 5.2% 5.2%  5.0% 5.0%

    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.

    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."

    Verify your new rate (Aug 3rd, 2022)

    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.

    August
    1

    National Girlfriend Day

    Ladies, it's time for some real talk. Today is National Girlfriend Day, an annual event that rolls around every August 1. Unlike National Boyfriend Day, this day isn't for boyfriends to appreciate their girlfriends (let's be honest, that should happen every day), it's about women supporting women!

    Romantic partners will come and go. Jobs are won and lost. But no matter what happens, your girls will be there in a crunch.  It's a time to honor your "ride or die" crew of homegirls! So, why do we love our girlfriends so much? Because they're like sisters but without any of the growing-up baggage. Plus, when times are tough, your girls will let you vent and when you're done; they will offer up the support you need to get through.

    Spa days, weekend retreats, pajama parties complete with wine and nachos are even better when your girlfriends join in the fun.  This year on National Girlfriend Day 2021, spend some delicious time gossiping about lovers past, present and future. Discuss your hopes and dreams in a really safe space, the circle of sisterhood.

    HISTORY OF NATIONAL GIRLFRIEND DAY

    It's not known for certain who created National Girlfriend Day on August 1 but the strongest claim seems to stem from Mistress Susan who runs a luxury website. She says that she created and celebrated the date in 2004 as a chance for gal pals to express gratitude to each other.

    The history of female friendships and gal pals is of course much longer than the day itself. Girls have been friends for so long that there is no way we can trace back to the first-ever female friends, so instead, we'll mention some of the more notable gal pals from recent times.

    The Edinburgh Seven were a group of female friends who fought to become the first women to go to medical school in the UK in the 1860s. Despite studying medicine at Edinburgh University they were barred from graduating and becoming doctors. Their determination put women's rights on the national agenda and led to laws in 1876 that allowed women to study medicine at university. The Edinburgh Seven had paved for the way for the female doctors of the future.

    Around the same time as this, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were forming a friendship that would become revolutionary. The two were the founders of the women's rights movement in the United States and were the trailblazers that pushed for white women's suffrage. The two initially met in 1851 and it was in 1869 that they formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.

    On a more sporty note, we raise a special mention for The Rockford Peaches, the founding members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. Their achievements were a huge stride forward for female athletes in the U.S.

    One of our favorite stories of female friendship involves Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe, with Fitzgerald attributing her big break to Monroe? The singer tried to book a gig at the Mocambo in Hollywood in 1955 but the manager turned her away because she didn't have enough "sex appeal." Monroe called the manager and said that she would sit front row every night if Fitzgerald got the job, which would pull in the press and crowds that the manager craved. Fitzgerald would say later. "After that I never had to play a small jazz club again."

    More recently Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert showed that even the fiercest of rivals can be best friends. The two did battle in an incredible 61 tennis tournament finals during the 1970s and 1980s but were still the best of friends off the court and would often travel to tournaments together and hang out between matches.

    Gal pals are always there for each other and have a history of fighting against the tide to achieve great things together. Make sure you take some time out on National Girlfriend Day 2021 to let your girlfriends know how much you appreciate them.

    Here are some other female-orientated holidays to observe and celebrate.

    NATIONAL GIRLFRIEND DAY TRADITIONS

    As this day is all about hanging out with your girlfriends the main tradition is to spend some quality time with your friends. People tend to spend National Girlfriend Day having fun with their girlfriends in and doing activities that they have previously bonded on together.

    So, whether it is watching a movie, spending the night partying, going shopping, or eating out at a nice restaurant, the traditions of National Girlfriend Day are really the traditions that built that friendship in the first place.

    NATIONAL GIRLFRIEND DAY BY NUMBERS

    6 – The number of best friends the average woman has in her lifetime.
    16 years – The lifespan of the average female friendship
    1 in 10 – Women admit to having more fun with their bff than with their partner.
    47% – Women wish they could spend more time with their best friend.
    1 in 4 – Women think their best friend knows them better than their partner.
    67% – More time women spend improving romantic relationships compared to friendships.
    23 years – the average friendship length for women over 55.
    9 – The number of close friends the average American has
    2% – The number of people who claim to have no close friends.
    73% – The number of Americans satisfied with their friendships

    HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL GIRLFRIEND DAY 2021

    1. Organize a paint night with your girls

      Painting and drinking? Sign me up! Going to a paint nite is a sweet idea for a night out with your girls—you even get a souvenir to remember it. For those who are not so artistically-inclined, the staff gives easy-to-understand instructions for the painting of the night. If yours still comes out bad.... just blame the alcohol.

    2. Instagram or it didn't happen

      Nothing says "I love you" than a selfie with the favorite females in your life. Why can't #WCW be every day?

    3. Everyone loves a spa day

      Invite the girls over for a spa night! Make your own pedicures, facials, the works. Your girlfriends will thank you for the pamper-filled day.

    August
    1

    Before making an offer on your dream home, make sure you cross these tasks off your list.

    Shopping for a new home can be an emotional rollercoaster, and the process often takes several weeks or months. Once you discover that perfect home, it's normal to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety, which often leads buyers to act with a sense of urgency. However, before you have your agent draw up an offer, it's important to take some time to thoroughly evaluate the property and consider your terms.

    Our real estate agents always encourage clients to take these steps before submitting an offer:

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