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November
23

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Nov. 22, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates remained almost steady yesterday. So, there has still been no noticeable bounce following those rates' record-breaking tumble on Nov. 10.

So far this morning, it's looking as if mortgage rates today might move lower. But that could change later in the day.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Nov 23rd, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.753% 6.782% -0.12% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.938% 5.97% +0.04% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.482% 6.539% -0.27% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 6.522% 6.618% +0.02% 
30 year fixed FHA 6.508% 7.288% +0.1% 
15 year fixed FHA 6.133% 6.663% +0.05% 
30 year fixed VA 6.421% 6.654% +0.21% 
15 year fixed VA 6.375% 6.736% +0.09% 
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.

Of course, there's a chance that mortgage rates will fall over the next few months. But I reckon rises are more likely.

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

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 edged lower to 3.77% from 3.79%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates typically tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mostly higher 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 climbed to $80.95 from $76.43 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices rose to $1,747 from $1,743 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.
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index —rose to 64 from 60 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 speed or direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Nov 23rd, 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?

Mortgage rates have been becalmed since their dramatic tumble on Nov. 10. Indeed, according to Mortgage News Daily's archive, they were just 2 basis points higher last night than they were on the morning of Nov. 11.

And a basis point is one-hundredth of 1% (0.01%). So those 2 bps really do represent an imperceptible difference.

The bounce that never came

Ever since that tumble, I've been predicting that mortgage rates would bounce back, at least to a limited extent. But no. Not a sign of one.

For once, I doubt I was wrong to expect one. The Federal Reserve and leading figures in the financial media have all been saying that markets called their play wrongly on Nov. 10.

The fall in mortgage rates was triggered by a single better-than-expected inflation report. And Investing 101 says you never bet heavily on a just one month's report. But betting heavily is precisely what Wall Street did.

So, why's there still been no bounce? I haven't a clue. And, over the weekend, my best guess was a metaphor: Investors are sticking their fingers in their ears and chanting la-la-la-la.

What's next?

Of course, there's still a possibility of investors suddenly recognizing how exposed they are and pushing mortgage rates higher. Or they might choose to wait to see how the next couple of inflation reports turn out. They're due on Dec. 1 and Dec. 13.

If those confirm the Nov. 10 report's inflation trend, mortgage rates might fall even further. But if they show it to be an outlier, stand by for a big — if belated — bounce.

To catch up and to discover more background, please read the weekend edition of this report.

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 Nov. 17 report put that same weekly average at 6.61%, sharply down from the previous week's 7.08%.

Belatedly, from Nov. 17, Freddie has stopped including discount points in its forecasts. It has also moved later the time of day at which it publishes its Thursday reports. And, from now on, we'll be updating this section on Fridays.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts — updated today

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 rate forecasts for the current quarter (Q4/22) and the first three quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23 and Q3/24).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie's forecast appeared on Nov. 22, the MBA's on Oct. 23 and Freddie's on Oct. 21.

Forecaster Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23 Q3/23
Fannie Mae 7.0% 7.0%  6.9% 6.7%
Freddie Mac 6.8% 6.6%  6.5% 6.4%
MBA 6.7% 6.2%  5.7% 5.5%

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 (Nov 23rd, 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.

November
7

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Nov. 5, and rate forecast for next week

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday. Unfortunately, however, they rose appreciably over the last seven days.

Last week, I managed a rare (and correct) forecast of where mortgage rates would head this week. But that's something I can't repeat today. And we're back to those rates being wholly unpredictable over that period.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 7.409% 7.44% -0.07% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.63% 6.66% -0.07% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 7.356% 7.409% -0.05% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 6.618% 6.697% -0.01% 
30 year fixed FHA 7.001% 7.709% -0.26% 
15 year fixed FHA 6.714% 7.286% -0.1% 
30 year fixed VA 6.888% 7.127% -0.05% 
15 year fixed VA 6.606% 6.97% -0.02% 
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.

Find and lock a low rate (Nov 7th, 2022)


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 Federal Reserve's report and comments on Wednesday only reinforced my view that mortgage rates are unlikely to fall far (at least for long) for several months.

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

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

Unfortunately, last week's Federal Reserve activity panned out pretty much as I predicted. The central bank remains committed to doing what it takes to tame inflation. And that includes hiking interest rates.

When the Fed raises the federal fund rate, almost all interest rates rise in line with it. There's a direct tie.

Now, it's true that mortgage rates are different. They're not directly tied to any other rate. Instead, they're largely determined by the yield on a type of bond (the mortgage-backed security or MBS) traded on a specialist bond market.

However, the Fed has a huge influence on that market. And we've seen mortgage rates rise this year as Fed rate hikes have been implemented.

What's next?

With Wednesday's Fed activities out the way, what's next? Well, there's a repeat due on Dec. 14. And markets are already focusing on that.

CME's FedWatch tool puts the probability of a 50-basis-point (0.5%) hike that day at 52% and of another 0.75% increase at 48%. But those will change as the weeks pass.

In the meantime, of course, data in economic reports will move mortgage rates. But reactions to those reports will at least in part be driven by a single question: What impact will these data have on the Fed's next rate hike?

What to look out for

The reports that are most likely to influence mortgage rates over the coming weeks are those for:

  1. Inflation — Notably the consumer price index (CPI) and the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index
  2. Employment — Especially the monthly employment situation report
  3. Growth — Gross domestic product (GDP) revisions

Higher unemployment and lower growth and inflation are likely to be good for mortgage rates. But the opposites of those would probably be bad news for those rates. That would typically be true at all times, but, currently, their influence on the Fed could magnify their effect.

The first of those comes next Thursday in the shape of the CPI report for October. And at least one of each are scheduled before those Dec. 14 Fed events.

All this leaves me pessimistic about mortgage rates over the next few months. In its communications on Wednesday, the Fed noted that "recent data indicate modest economic growth, a very tight labor market, and elevated inflation," to quote a Comerica Bank e-newsletter yesterday.

Of course, there's always hope that future figures will become more friendly to mortgage rates. But I fear it would take an exceptionally sharp turn to divert the Fed from its rate-hiking path before next spring. And yesterday's employment situation report suggests good news is unlikely anytime soon.

Economic reports next week

Next week, it's all about Thursday's consumer price index. There's really very little else to worry about. Oh, and markets are closed on Friday for the Veterans Day holiday.

That important report is shown below in bold. Others are unlikely to move mortgage rates unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.

  • Tuesday — October small business index from the National Federation of Independent Business
  • Thursday — Consumer price index (CPI) for October. Plus weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to Nov. 5
  • Friday — Bond markets closed for Veterans Day holiday. Mortgage rates shouldn't move and we won't be publishing our usual daily report. However, the consumer sentiment report for November should appear that day

Thursday's the big day next week.

Verify your new rate (Nov 7th, 2022)

Mortgage interest rates forecast for next week

Unfortunately, I have to revert to my recent default position and fail to provide a forecast for where mortgage rates will move next week. Things are simply too volatile and unpredictable to make a judgment.

How your mortgage interest rate is determined

Mortgage and refinance rates are generally determined by prices in a secondary market (similar to the stock or bond markets) where mortgage-backed securities are traded.

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 your "PITI." That's your Principal (pays down the amount you borrowed), Interest (the price of borrowing), (property) Taxes, and (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 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. 

October
26

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Oct. 25, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates just edged lower yesterday. Rejoice! That was the second consecutive business day of falls, which has been a rare phenomenon recently. However, I wouldn't yet read too much into the good news.

Still, so far this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to fall. Just be aware that these short trends can turn on a dime, so there are no guarantees.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Oct 26th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 7.351% 7.384% +0.05% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.71% 6.748% -0.1% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 7.421% 7.484% +0.11% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 6.716% 6.834% -0.06% 
30 year fixed FHA 7.217% 7.931% -0.1% 
15 year fixed FHA 7.125% 7.401% Unchanged
30 year fixed VA 6.75% 6.982% +0.02% 
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.

Next week's likely to bring another big rate hike by the Federal Reserve. They may get smaller after that, but it's looking likely they won't stop rising for a while. And I doubt mortgage rates will fall far and for long until they do.

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

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 4.08% from 4.23%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mostly higher 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 decreased to $84.78 from $84.83 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices nudged up to $1,661 from $1,650 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 53 from 47 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 decrease. However, be aware that "intraday swings" (when rates change speed or direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Oct 26th, 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?

The Federal Reserve's rate-setting body (the Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC) begins a two-day meeting one week today. And it will announce the size of its next rate hike the following day, Nov. 2.

Markets seem convinced it's going to be another giant 75-basis-point (0.75%) one. Overnight, CME's FedWatch tool reckoned there was a 97.2% probability of that big an increase.

If that's correct, mortgage rates may barely move next Wednesday as a result of the hike. That's because investors are expecting it and will have traded ahead based on that expectation.

However, they could still move that day as a result of something called the "dot plot." That's a graph on which each FOMC member plots his or her forecast of where the Fed rate will be at various points in the future.

And Wall Street will be hoping several members are expecting that rate to plateau and fall soon. If that's the case, mortgage rates might fall that day. But if most members still expect high rates well into 2023, mortgage rates might rise.

Key economic reports this week

A couple of highly influential economic reports are due out later this week. They're likely to be viewed largely through the prism of how they'll affect the FOMC's plans for its rate.

Thursday sees the publication of the first reading (of three) of gross domestic product (GDP) during the third quarter. Economists polled by MarketWatch are expecting healthy annualized growth of 2.3% during that period. If it's much higher, mortgage rates might rise — or fall if its appreciably lower.

Friday brings the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) report for September. And that includes the PCE price index, which is the Fed's favorite measure of inflation. MarketWatch says economists are expecting a year-over-year number of 5.2%. Again, a higher figure could push mortgage rates up while a lower one might drag them down.

In the meantime, while we're waiting for those reports, mortgage rates might (no promises!) continue to drift. Let's hope they continue to do so in a downward direction. But drifting is generally pretty random.

For more background on where mortgage rates might be heading, read the weekend edition of this daily report.

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 Oct. 20 report put that same weekly average at 6.94% (with 0.9 fees and points), up from the previous week's 6.92%.

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 rate forecasts for the current quarter (Q4/22) and the first three quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23 and Q3/24).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie's forecast appeared on Oct. 10, the MBA's on Oct. 23 and Freddie's on Oct. 21.

Forecaster Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23 Q3/23
Fannie Mae 6.7% 6.6%  6.5% 6.4%
Freddie Mac 6.8% 6.6%  6.5% 6.4%
MBA 6.7% 6.2%  5.7% 5.5%

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."

Verify your new rate (Oct 26th, 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.

October
17

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Oct. 15, and rate forecast for next week

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates rose yesterday. And they did so over the short week, though more modestly than they sometimes have recently. Still, those rates start today at a new 20-year high.

Forecasts for the week ahead remain as impossible as they have for several months. Flipping a coin will give you as reliable a guide to mortgage rates over the next seven days as I can.

Find and lock a low rate (Oct 17th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 7.24% 7.272% +0.12% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.601% 6.639% +0.13% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 7.198% 7.258% -0.13% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.85% 6.061% -0.45% 
30 year fixed FHA 6.984% 7.697% -0.17% 
15 year fixed FHA 7.013% 7.289% +0.02% 
30 year fixed VA 6.75% 6.982% Unchanged
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.

Find and lock a low rate (Oct 17th, 2022)


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.

Volatility may mean I'm unable to forecast where mortgage rates will move next week. But the longer term is clearer, though not certain. I doubt those rates will fall far — at least for long — until sometime in 2023.

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

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

Mortgage rates are largely determined by the yields on a type of bond called the mortgage-backed security (MBS). And those yields — which move inversely to MBS prices — are very sensitive to changes in the economic outlook.

So, when investors are worried about that outlook, they tend to buy "safe" bonds as they flee riskier investments. That pushes the price of MBSs up, which sends yields and mortgage rates lower. The opposite usually happens when those investors are confident about the future.

There's another big influence on MBSs. And that's inflation. When you buy any bond, you're buying a fixed income, often over many years. So, you're nervous about high inflation, which might eat up all your profits and then some. You might also look at rapidly rising yields and ask, "Why would I buy a bond with a 2% yield now when I look likely to get 3% in a few months' time?"

So that's the theory of how mortgage rates are set. But how's the current economy affecting them?

Resilient economy

Reporting yesterday's quarterly results from megabank JPMorgan Chase, The Wall Street Journal (paywall) ran the headline, "JPMorgan Chase Earnings Show Economy Is Resilient, but [CEO] Jamie Dimon's 'Hurricane' Looms."

The article explained about the wider financial sector: "The banks sit smack in the middle of an uncertain economy. Inflation is near its highest level in decades and the Federal Reserve is trying to curb it by rapidly lifting rates. That is making loans more expensive, putting pressure on Americans on multiple fronts. Investors worry that the higher interest rates will eventually tip the U.S. into recession."

And that's where we are now. The economy's holding up surprisingly well. But there's a real possibility of a recession. Normally, that would provide the prospect of rates moderating if and when that recession arrives. But there's more to this story ...

Inflation and the Fed

In normal times, the Federal Reserve would intervene when a recession looms, cutting interest rates and perhaps buying bonds. Those moves would typically help drive mortgage rates lower.

But, right now, the Fed is obsessed with taming inflation, partly because it's embarrassed by its role in letting price increases grow to their current levels. And it's made crystal clear that it has no intention of backing off its plans to rein in rising prices, no matter how painful any resulting recession.

Some market players seem convinced that the Fed will cave and pivot if a recession gets bad enough. But I'm not so sure. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said he regards one of his predecessors, Paul Volker, as a hero for fighting inflation by hiking rates during a terrible recession. Here's what happened then, according to FederalReserveHistory.org:

"Prior to the 2007-09 recession, the 1981-82 recession was the worst economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression. Indeed, the nearly 11 percent unemployment rate reached late in 1982 remains the apex of the post-World War II era. ... Three-fourths of all job losses in the goods-producing sector were in manufacturing, and the residential construction industry and auto manufacturers ended the year with 22 percent and 24 percent unemployment, respectively."

Mr. Powell may see even a recession of historic proportions next year as an opportunity to emulate his hero.

Recessions and mortgage rates

If that turns out to be the case, mortgage rates may remain elevated throughout any 2023 recession. The Fed directly determines most interest rates, but not mortgage rates. However, its policies certainly influence MBS yields.

Now, in theory, it's possible for mortgage rates to fall while the Fed is hiking other rates. So none of us can be certain about anything.

However, Freddie Mac's archives show mortgage rates averaging 16.63% in 1981 and 16.04% in 1982, when Mr. Volker was hiking other, general interest rates during a ghastly recession. So I'm not holding my breath while I wait for a recession to make mortgages more affordable.

And, in my opinion, significant and sustained falls in mortgage rates are unlikely until well into 2023.

Economic reports next week

This week was crammed with economic reports and events that might have moved mortgage rates. However, next week provides a bit of a respite. And reports over the coming seven days are unlikely to have much impact unless they contain shockingly good or bad data.

  • Tuesday — September's industrial production index and capacity utilization rate. Plus the home builders' index for October from the National Association of Home Builders
  • Wednesday — September building permits and housing starts
  • Thursday — September existing home sales and leading economic indicators. Plus weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to Oct.15
  • Friday — Third quarter indexes of common inflation expectations for the coming five and 10 years

If there are sharp movements in mortgage rates next week, they're unlikely to be triggered by these usually innocuous reports.

However, you might want to keep an eye on events in the United Kingdom, where a new and inexperienced government has unleashed economic and political mayhem through its radical policies. If it manages to regain the markets' confidence, mortgage rates might move lower. But if it fails to do that (and there's a chance the prime minister could be forced to resign), those rates may rise.

Verify your new rate (Oct 17th, 2022)

Mortgage interest rates forecast for next week

Longer-term forecasts for mortgage rates can be based on where the economy is heading. And daily ones have the benefit of each morning's market performance. But weekly ones lack any such insights. And current volatility and unpredictability make weekly forecasts impossible.

Sorry! I'll reinstate them just as soon as I can.

How your mortgage interest rate is determined

Mortgage and refinance rates are generally determined by prices in a secondary market (similar to the stock or bond markets) where mortgage-backed securities are traded.

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 your "PITI." That's your Principal (pays down the amount you borrowed), Interest (the price of borrowing), (property) Taxes, and (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 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 2021

October
7

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Oct. 6, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates soared yesterday. And, once again, they're close to 7%, with some lenders higher than that and others lower.

So far this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to move modestly higher. But, of course, that could change as the hours pass.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Oct 7th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 7.024% 7.062% +0.22% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 6.363% 6.394% +0.24% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 7.227% 7.271% +0.28% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 6.214% 6.332% +0.24% 
30 year fixed FHA 6.976% 7.662% +0.08% 
15 year fixed FHA 7.122% 7.398% +0.13% 
30 year fixed VA 6.488% 6.721% +0.26% 
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.

I find it hard to envisage mortgage rates falling far for extended periods for as long as the Federal Reserve continues to hike its interest rate (and consequently most others). And that looks likely to continue into 2023.

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

Market data affecting today's mortgage rates

Here's a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose to 3.80% from 3.75%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mixed and barely moving soon after opening. (Neutral 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 $87.99 from $87.08 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices edged up to $1,724 from $1,715 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 34 from 31 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 rise a little. 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 (Oct 7th, 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?

What happened yesterday that caused mortgage rates to climb so quickly? It was probably a combination of reasons. But one stands out.

That was yesterday's meeting of OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus Russia. That decided that its members would cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day.

And you don't need a Nobel Prize in economics to know that cutting the supply of a product increases its price, providing demand remains high. Unfortunately, oil and natural gas remain in great demand around the world.

This is going to put upward pressure on inflation, just as everyone was hoping to see prices begin to fall. And that means the Fed is likely to continue to hike interest rates — and perhaps more aggressively — for longer than it and markets wanted.

Both those are bad news for mortgage rates.

Tomorrow's jobs report

Tomorrow's official employment situation report for September could send mortgage rates up or down, depending on what it contains.

Usually, investors focus on the number of new jobs ("nonfarm payrolls") created during the month. But, this time, they'll also be studying the average hourly earnings figure.

The latter might indicate whether we're entering a 1970s-style inflationary spiral in which prices and wages chase each other upward.

Higher-than-expected numbers for jobs and earnings are likely to push mortgage rates up. Of course, lower-than-expected figures might drag them down. Just remember that markets occasionally respond to economic data contrary to expectations.

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 Oct. 6 report put that same weekly average at 6.66% (with 0.8 fees and points), down slightly from the previous week's 6.7%.

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. 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.

Forecaster Q3/22 Q4/22 Q1/23 Q2/23
Fannie Mae 5.4% 5.7%  5.7% 5.6%
Freddie Mac 5.5% 5.4%  5.2% 5.2%
MBA 5.5% 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."

Verify your new rate (Oct 7th, 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.

September
9

Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 9, 2022

Today's mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates moved lower again yesterday. It wasn't a big fall by recent standards, but it was a worthwhile one. If your lender didn't drop your rate yesterday, it might well this morning.

Mortgage rates today look likely to fall again. And, if that trend continues as the hours pass, those for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages should end the day back below 6%.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Sep 9th, 2022)

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.173% 6.205% +0.13% 
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.266% 5.3% -0.24% 
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.197% 6.259% +0.07% 
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.687% 5.797% -0.03% 
30 year fixed FHA 6.019% 6.89% +0.26% 
15 year fixed FHA 5.563% 6.17% -0.09% 
30 year fixed VA 5.778% 6.007% +0.09% 
15 year fixed VA 5.697% 6.05% -0.15% 
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.

Unfortunately, a couple of days of better news about mortgage rates isn't enough to persuade me they're likely to fall significantly for a sustained period over the next few months.

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 rose to 3.30% from 3.25%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were 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 climbed to $85.86 from $83.23 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices increased to $1,725 from $1,722 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 — moved up to 45 from 40 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.

Find your lowest rate. Start here (Sep 9th, 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?

The chances of the Federal Reserve hiking general interest rates by 75 basis points (0.75%) on Sep. 21 increased yesterday. The Financial Times summed up the situation in a subhead: "Fed chair doubles down on hawkish message and says central bank needs to act 'forthrightly'"

You might have thought markets would have gotten the message the first 10 times Chair Jerome Powell said this. But some apparently still think he's bluffing. So, there he was again yesterday, saying the same thing.

It is very much our view, and my view, that we need to act now forthrightly, strongly, as we have been doing, and we need to keep at it until the job is done.
— Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, Sep. 8, 2022

Fed and MBSs

One of the main reasons mortgage rates plumbed new lows during the pandemic was that the Fed bought industrial quantities of mortgage-back securities (MBSs), the type of bond that largely determines those rates. As of yesterday, it owned $2.7 trillion of MBSs.

The extra demand created by the Fed pushed up the price of MBSs, which inevitably pulled down their yields — and therefore mortgage rates. This was part of the process called "quantitative easing" (QE). But we're now in a period of "quantitative tightening" (QT).

For a while earlier this year, I was worried that the Fed might dump too many of its MBSs into the bond market over a relatively brief period, pushing up mortgage rates even higher when they were already rising. But that probably hasn't happened much.

The quantity the Fed can sell each month will rise this month to $35 billion. That's a lot, but not compared to its $2.7 trillion holding.

And, yesterday, the New York Fed said it expected sales within a "range between $20 and $30 billion over the next several months." Click that link if you want a peek under the hood.

So, I'm not expecting the Fed's runoff of its MBS assets to affect mortgage rates too much over the rest of this year. That's good. But the risks from persistent inflation and the Fed's rate hikes remain.

And I still suspect that mortgage rates won't fall far or for long between now and 2023. But some experts disagree: see Fannie Mae's and the Mortgage Bankers Association's forecasts below.

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 Sep. 8 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.89% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week's 5.66%.

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 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."

Verify your new rate (Sep 9th, 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
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
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
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.

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