Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates soared again yesterday. And they’re now close to where they were before the Great Drop in the final days of July. We’ve seen record or near-record movements over the last week. But they’ve taken us nowhere.
First thing this morning, it was looking as if mortgage rates today might barely move. But be warned! There have been plenty of days recently when they changed direction during the day.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.408%||5.439%||-0.06%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||4.83%||4.886%||+0.01%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.356%||5.415%||-0.17%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||4.927%||5.014%||-0.06%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.348%||6.072%||-0.43%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||5.072%||5.558%||+0.04%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.142%||5.363%||+0.01%|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||4.975%||5.339%||+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.
Am I nervous that I moved too soon when I changed on Saturday my rate lock recommendations (below)? You bet! I’m letting the current turmoil play out before I decide whether to change them back. Read on for more about my dilemma.
All this means you have to rely even more than usual on your own tolerance for risk. If you’re cautious, by all means, lock your rate now, no matter how long you have before closing.
In the meantime, my personal rate lock recommendations remain:
- 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
>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 10 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with about 9:50 a.m. yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to 2.68% from 2.78%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were mixed soon after opening. (Neutral 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 inched down to $94.16 from $94.50 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices rose to $1,797 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 — climbed to 49 from 46 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 close to steady. 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 broader 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?
Mortgage rates remained volatile due to the tug of war between inflationary pressures and a clear slowdown in economic growth. The high uncertainty surrounding inflation and other factors will likely cause rates to remain variable, especially as the Federal Reserve attempts to navigate the current economic environment.-- Freddie Mac, Aug. 4, 2022
Mortgage rates have jumped by very nearly half a percentage point (50 basis points or 0.5%) in just two days. That followed a similarly sized fall over the previous four working days. It’s uncertain whether this level of volatility is unprecedented, but it sure is exceedingly rare.
Does this mean that my recent analysis was right all along? That suggested that mortgage rates would continue to rise overall, perhaps for the rest of this year and into 2023, but at a much slower pace than during the first five months of 2022. Well, possibly.
But it’s much too soon to be sure. Things have certainly changed within the US and global economies in recent weeks. And the possibility of a recession grows by the day, although I doubt we’re in one yet. Recessions tend to drag mortgage rates lower.
But inflation is yet to even begin to show signs of easing off in the official figures. And the Federal Reserve seems determined to continue to fight higher prices through interest rate hikes and running down the assets it holds. Inflation, higher general interest rates and the Fed’s disposal of assets all tend to push mortgage rates higher.
So, metaphorically, mortgage rates continue to be tossed in a storm where the Recession ocean meets the Inflation ocean. Think Cape Horn (or Hoorn; it was originally named for the birthplace of Dutch explorer Willem Schouten). Will they sail through to the calmer waters of Recession or will they be beaten back by strong headwinds into Inflation?
Nobody knows. But we’ll find out in coming weeks and months.
By the way, Mortgage News Daily has recently been covering the technical, bond-market-related reasons why mortgage rates have been so volatile over the last week. And, as you’d expect, its analysis is spot on. However, it explains why they’re moving so far and fast. The reason why they go up or down remains all about inflation and recession fears.
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.
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 Aug. 4 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 4.99% (with 0.8 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 5.3%. However, note that this report misses most of that Tuesday’s and all of that Wednesday’s dramatic rises.
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.
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.”
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.