Mortgage and refinance rates today, July 29, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
July 29, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates plunged yesterday, bringing them to their lowest point in well over a month. That was mostly in response to yesterday’s gross domestic product (GDP) figures, which showed the US economy having contracted for two consecutive quarters.

Judging by market movements first thing this morning, mortgage rates today might rise moderately. But that could change as the hours pass.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.477% 5.509% -0.15%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 4.724% 4.777% -0.19%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.382% 5.438% +0.01%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 4.777% 4.864% -0.18%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.691% 6.513% +0.1%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 4.954% 5.437% -0.14%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 4.999% 5.219% -0.14%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 4.977% 5.344% -0.17%
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.

How can my rate lock recommendations (below) possibly still be stuck on Lock when July has been such a good month for mortgage rates? Well, those recommendations may not be stuck for much longer. But first I want to see how things settle down after yesterday’s shock fall.

We’re still in highly volatile times. And I really don’t want to lead you astray by changing my recommendations before I believe it’s safe to do so. Of course, if you think I’m being too cautious, you’re welcome to keep floating for as long as you wish — as if you need my permission.

But, 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 yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes edged higher to 2.70% from 2.68%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were modestly 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 climbed to $99.79 from $98.67 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices inched up to $1,753 from $1,752 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 up to 40 from 38 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 rise. 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:

  1. 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
  2. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  3. 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
  4. When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  5. 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?

Today

This morning’s inflation figures (June’s personal consumption and expenditures (PCE) report) are arguably the most important of their type. That’s because the Federal Reserve takes these more seriously than the others.

The headline number among the PCE’s plethora of data showed prices continuing to rise sharply: up 1% in June, another new 40-year high. Core prices (with volatile food and fuel stripped out) were up 0.6% that month. MarketWatch saw that as “a sign that price pressures in the economy are still intense and unlikely to relent quickly.”

Meanwhile, worker pay and benefits also rose sharply: by 1.3% during the second quarter. All today’s figures were higher than expected.

Normally, you might expect these figures to push mortgage rates sharply higher. But they were only moderately so earlier this morning. Perhaps they’ll rise further later in the day — or maybe not. Or perhaps markets are still punch drunk following yesterday’s growth (or, rather, contraction) figures.

Yesterday

It was no surprise that mortgage rates tumbled after yesterday’s gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the second quarter of this year. The US economy contracted then at an annualized rate of 0.9%.

Actually, a more detailed study of the numbers reveals that some or all America’s economic contraction so far this year is a result of businesses adjusting their inventories. They’d overstocked when demand for goods was high during the pandemic and spent the first half of the year getting stock levels back to normal. So, with employment and consumer spending still strong, we’re almost certainly not in a recession — yet.

However, the size of yesterday’s drop in mortgage rates was unusual, even after months of dramatic volatility. And it turns out that technical issues concerning how the mortgage bonds market operates likely turbocharged the fall. If you enjoy admirable but wonkish analysis, Matthew Graham laid out those technical issues in a Mortgage News Daily article last night.

The future for mortgage rates

I mentioned earlier that I might very soon change my personal rate lock recommendations. They’ve been stuck on Lock for nearly a year.

I was tempted to change them this morning, but the fact is I have very little clue what might happen to mortgage rates next. And I’d rather err on the side of caution.

Things might become clearer over the next few days as markets settle down after three days of hugely important economic news. If and when that happens, I’ll review my recommendations.

In the meantime, if you want to ignore my advice, I shouldn’t blame you one bit.

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. 28 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.3% (with 0.8 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 5.54%.

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.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
Fannie Mae5.5%5.4% 5.3%5.1%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.2%5.2% 5.0%5.0%

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.

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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.