Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell again yesterday. And by a worthwhile amount. But these falls might turn out to be a temporary blip in an upward trend.
Mortgage rates today are essentially unpredictable following mixed economic data this morning. Markets could go either way, though they were pointing to slightly higher rates soon after opening.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.226%||3.244%||-0.03%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||2.612%||2.642%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||2.989%||3.023%||-0.05%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||2.502%||2.564%||-0.04%|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.258%||4.02%||-0.03%|
|15 year fixed FHA||2.575%||3.219%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM FHA||2.734%||3.233%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed VA||3.085%||3.278%||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed VA||2.832%||3.183%||+0.07%|
|5/1 ARM VA||2.527%||2.442%||-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.|
Should you lock a mortgage rate today?
Of course, recent falls in mortgage rates might be the start of a longer downward trend. But I doubt it. And I still think rises will outweigh falls in the coming weeks and 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 held steady at 1.56%. (Neutral for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were higher 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 fell to $82.16 from $83.59 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity.
- Gold prices inched higher to $1,803 from $1,798 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is better for rates when gold rises, and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
- CNN Business Fear & Greed index — inched up to 70 from 69 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 change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. 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 are unpredictable. But be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Important notes on today’s mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
- 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
- Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
- Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the wider trend over time
- When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
- Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases. And a recent regulatory change has narrowed a gap that previously existed
So there’s a lot going on here. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what’s going to happen to mortgage rates in coming hours, days, weeks or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
Today and soon
This morning’s figures for gross domestic product (GDP) growth during the last quarter were disappointing. But not horribly so. And The Wall Street Journal seemed to sum up the consensus:
The U.S. economy grew by 2% last quarter, with the Delta variant and supply issues damping gains. Growth could accelerate during the holidays, analysts say.
Meanwhile, weekly new claims for unemployment insurance hit another low compared to March 2020. So that was good.
Are recent falls blips?
For some time, I’ve been saying that we’ll have periods when mortgage rates fall. But I’m still expecting those to be brief. And for future rises to more than outweigh them.
Technically, those periods aren’t market adjustments. Because that’s a technical term and these don’t fit its definition. But that’s what they are: markets adjusting after a sustained period of travel in a particular direction.
So don’t get too excited about Tuesday’s and yesterday’s falls. Yes, they’ve been worthwhile and have canceled out the most recent rises. But these rates are now extremely close to where they were only a week ago. And it’s way too soon to start popping Champagne corks.
Indeed, the three big drivers of higher mortgage rates remain powerful. For more information about those, read last Saturday’s weekend edition of these daily reports. But they mean that I’m expecting higher mortgage rates soon.
Recently — Update today
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 last year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, since September, the rises have grown more pronounced.
Freddie’s Oct. 28 report puts that weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 3.14% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 3.09%.
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, current quarter of 2021 (Q4/21) and the first three quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22 and Q3/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s and Freddie’s were published on Oct. 15 and the MBA’s on Oct. 18.
However, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
All these forecasts expect at least modestly higher mortgage rates fairly soon.
Find your lowest rate today
Some lenders have been spooked by the pandemic. And they’re restricting their offerings to just the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.
But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the cash-out refinance, investment mortgage or jumbo loan you want. You just have to shop around more widely.
But, of course, you should be comparison shopping widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Mortgage rate methodology
The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.