Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates edged lower again last Friday. That week’s falls have been welcome. But they don’t even restore rates to their level the previous Friday, let alone make a serious dent in the rises since Jan. 1.
Still, so far this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to fall again. That’s mostly on concerns about a Federal Reserve report due on Wednesday and fears about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.773%||3.798%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||3.117%||3.153%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||3.434%||3.475%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||3.02%||3.085%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA||3.852%||4.628%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed FHA||3.097%||3.749%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM FHA||3.606%||3.956%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed VA||3.936%||4.145%||+0.03%|
|15 year fixed VA||3.266%||3.607%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM VA||3.106%||2.937%||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?
I’d lock my mortgage rate soon if I were you. Of course, that carries some risk, if those rates move lower. And I wouldn’t lock on a day when they look likely to fall, such as today.
But I believe they’re more likely to rise than fall over the coming weeks and months. Just be aware that not all experts agree with me.
Still, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
- LOCK if closing in 7 days
- LOCK if closing in 15 days
- LOCK if closing in 30 days
- LOCK if closing in 45 days
- LOCK if closing in 60 days
>Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate
Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates
Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time last Friday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to 1.72% from 1.76%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were sharply lower. (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 decreased to $83.91 from $84.69 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices edged down to $1,834 from $1,842 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 — dropped to 38 from 48 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 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 likely to fall. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Important notes on today’s mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
- 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.
A lot is going on at the moment. 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?
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the Federal Reserve’s statement and news conference, due on Wednesday afternoon. The financial press is full of analysis and speculation about what might happen then. So it’s likely occupying investors’ minds, too.
Few expect any startling policy announcements and even fewer an actual interest rate hike. But we should know more about the Fed’s plans and attitudes once people have had a chance to analyze and digest what’s been said.
We know already that the Fed’s planning to hike its interest rates three or four times this year, though each increase will probably be small. And a Fed policy that’s been keeping mortgage rates artificially low for close to two years is already being wound down (“tapered,” in Fed jargon). But we might get a hint about when it might throw that policy into reverse, which would mean actively encouraging higher rates.
Together, those actions have been behind the sharp rises in mortgage rates we’ve seen in recent weeks. If the Fed’s mood appears yet more “hawkish” (more aggressive in its anti-inflationary measures) than previously, as many expect, then those rates will probably rise further. If it’s more “doveish” (less aggressive), we may see them moderate or even fall a little.
But don’t necessarily expect instant reactions. It often takes days for markets to digest these changes.
There are a couple of other economic reports later this week that could also affect mortgage rates. Thursday sees the publication of initial GDP figures for the last quarter of 2021. And Friday brings an important inflation report. As always, what they say will decide their impact, if any, on those rates.
For some time, Russia has been amassing troops on its border with Ukraine. And the chances of a full-scale invasion or significant incursions seem to grow daily. Indeed, the State Department is already pulling out families of US diplomats in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
This geopolitical mess might affect mortgage rates further down the line. But how or how much will depend on its scale and repercussions. So this is another wait-and-see moment.
For a longer overview of where mortgage rates are going, read the weekend edition of this daily rates report.
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, 2021, 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 last September, the rises have grown more pronounced, though not consistently so.
Freddie’s Jan. 20 report puts that weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 3.56% (with 0.7 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 3.45%.
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 four quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on Jan. 19 and Freddie’s and the MBA’s on Jan. 21.
Personally, I was surprised that Fannie Mae only slightly increased its rate forecasts in January. It believes that rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages will average 3.2% over the current quarter. But, on the day its figures were published, we reported those for conventional loans were already up to 3.87%.
Do Fannie’s economists expect those rates to plummet later this month or in February or March and remain lower in the following quarters? If so, they know something that I don’t. And that their peers in Freddie and the MBA’s teams don’t, either, though I’m less optimistic than any of them.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
Find your lowest rate today
You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
“Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”
Mortgage rate methodology
The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.