Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell appreciably last Friday. And those rates on that day were at their lowest since early June, according to Mortgage News Daily (but Freddie Mac disagrees).
Earlier this morning, it was looking as if mortgage rates today might rise modestly. But that could change later.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.644%||5.67%||+0.01%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||5.043%||5.087%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.549%||5.595%||+0.01%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||5.006%||5.103%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.783%||6.584%||+0.03%|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||4.999%||5.513%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||5.156%||5.376%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||5.067%||5.436%||+0.04%|
|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.
Last Friday morning, I wrote, “This week’s falling mortgage rates have been welcome but insignificant.” Well, the following few hours changed that. And that day’s large fall dragged the average down appreciably.
Unfortunately, I’d be surprised if we didn’t see those rates move higher again soon. But that will depend on three things coming up this week:
- Wednesday’s announcement of the size of the Fed’s next interest rate hike
- Thursday’s first reading of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the second quarter
- Friday’s big inflation report for June, which is the one favored by the Fed (personal consumption and expenditures or PCE)
I suspect those are going to be mixed. And if the Fed hikes its rates higher than expected or inflation continues to climb, higher mortgage rates might well follow.
So, for now, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term must 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 climbed to 2.82% from 2.74%. (Bad 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. (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 $95.50 from $96.54 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 $1,719 from $1,725 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 lower to 38 from 40 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 a bit. 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?
I laid out (above) this week’s three biggest dangers to lower mortgage rates. Analysts and economists have already forecast where they expect each set of numbers to be. And investors will largely have bought and sold ahead in expectation of those numbers.
So, it’s the differences between those forecasts and the actual figures that are likely to drive changes in markets generally and mortgage rates in particular. In my view, we’ll be very lucky if the inflation report and the Fed announcement come in lower than expected. But, if they do, mortgage rates might fall.
Those who want lower mortgage rates (though almost nobody else) will want the GDP figures to be lower than forecast. That will focus markets on the possibility of a recession, encouraging them to buy bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBSs), which largely determine mortgage rates. More demand for MBS pushes up their prices, which invariably reduces yields and mortgage rates.
My particular concern is the core PCE report on Friday. True, the consensus forecast for that is a rise of 0.6% in June, double May’s increase, according to MarketWatch. So economists are already pessimistic about how inflation is trending. But I’m worried even that may be an underestimate.
On Jul. 19, McKinsey & Company published a scary chart about food prices. And it said:
Basic food prices are trending upward as the result of boosted fertilizer costs and other impacts from the conflict in Ukraine. The prices for food commodities now are even higher than they were during price hikes in 2008 and 2011.
Recently, we’ve tended to think of gas prices when we think of inflation. And they are certainly a big part of it, owing to their role in the distribution of almost all the goods we buy. But, as McKinsey put it, we’re “paying more to fill plates” as well as tanks. Meanwhile, other commodity prices for some metals remain elevated, driving up yet more prices.
As I’ve written here several times in recent weeks, markets have been switching their focus between two fears: recession and inflation. When they think about recession, mortgage rates tend to fall. And when they worry about inflation, those rates tend to rise.
Don’t be surprised if this week’s reports drag their attention back to inflation. And, whatever those reports say, we might well see a return of volatility in mortgage rates.
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. 21 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.54% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.51%.
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.