Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell again yesterday, and by another worthwhile amount. Falls over the last two days have made a real difference. But don’t get too excited yet. Added together, they’re still not close to the size of last Friday’s rise.
Earlier this morning, markets were signaling that mortgage rates might fall again today. But, as we’ve seen over the last few days, those early readings aren’t always reliable.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||4.746%||4.771%||-0.12%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||3.967%||4%||-0.15%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||4.73%||4.77%||-0.09%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||3.983%||4.049%||-0.03%|
|30 year fixed FHA||4.901%||5.705%||-0.07%|
|15 year fixed FHA||4.357%||4.876%||-0.06%|
|30 year fixed VA||4.671%||4.885%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA||4.136%||4.474%||-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?
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.
There is increasing evidence that mortgage rates might be ending their run of sharp rises. But I’m not buying it yet. The fundamental drivers of higher rates still look intact to me, and recent falls appear to be reactions to passing events. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
Even if I am wrong, I doubt mortgage rates will fall far — or for long — compared to recent sharp rises. In other words, I see little prospect of significant and sustained falls anytime soon. Still, I remain hopeful that future rises will be more gentle than of late.
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
>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 yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes tumbled to 2.33% from 2.41%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were falling 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 fell to $103.65 from $108.23 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices climbed to $1,944 from $1,936 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 lower to 54 from 55 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 might 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 will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
You won’t get a prize for realizing we’re enduring turbulent times. We’ve just seen the worst week (and quarter) for mortgage rate increases in decades.
And, on both the last two mornings, markets have started off signaling steady mortgage rates only to cause them to fall appreciably by the end of each trading day. (This is only partly an excuse for my failing to predict on those mornings where rates would head.)
Markets are trying to make sense of fast-moving and complicated geopolitical events. And they’re tending to be blown to and fro by the news cycle as they attempt to work out the economic implications of each headline. Meanwhile, domestic economic reports seem to be playing a more major role in market movements than they have been recently.
Today and tomorrow
That may be especially noticeable tomorrow morning. That’s when the official employment situation report for March is published. That particular monthly report is almost always influential.
Meanwhile, economic data published this morning showed that weekly new claims for unemployment insurance to March 26 were worse than expected. And that the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, was better than forecast.
But markets barely seem to have paid any attention to those. So at least some domestic economic reports remain all but invisible to investors.
All this means that mortgage rates are highly unpredictable in the short term. Looking further ahead, my perception of where those rates will go remains grim. To me, more rises look highly likely, though I still hope that they’ll tend to drift upward rather than climb sharply.
But that prediction assumes that the world carries on much as now. If the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse grow even more active than they have been over the last couple of years, mortgage rates might fall again.
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.
Recent trends — Updated 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 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.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, the rises have grown more pronounced since last September.
Freddie’s Mar. 31 report puts that weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 4.67% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 4.42%. That most recent figure won’t have included most of this week’s falls.
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 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 Mar. 17 and the MBA’s on Mar. 22. But Freddie now publishes these forecasts every quarter, most recently on Jan. 21. So its figures are already looking very stale.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. I’m afraid I’m less optimistic than any of them.
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.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.