Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell appreciably last Friday. Indeed, last week and the whole of July were exceptionally good ones (close to record-breaking) for those rates.
So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might barely move. But that could change as the day progresses.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed|
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.23%||5.263%||-0.13%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||4.574%||4.626%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.011%||5.066%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 10 year fixed|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||4.726%||4.825%||+0.01%|
|30 year fixed FHA|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.461%||6.306%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed FHA|
|15 year fixed FHA||4.847%||5.296%||Unchanged|
|30 year fixed VA|
|30 year fixed VA||4.803%||5.019%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA|
|15 year fixed VA||4.862%||5.229%||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?
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.
On Saturday, I finally changed my rate lock recommendations (below). And, in the weekend edition, I gave my reasons:
Why have I been so reluctant to change them before? For two reasons. First, the level of uncertainty surrounding mortgage rates remains high; anything could yet happen. And, secondly, most readers prefer to miss out on possible savings than experience the actual losses that locking too late can bring. Most of us have “loss aversion bias.”
OK, but why haven’t I changed them all to “float?” Because of all that uncertainty in key markets. Mortgage rates often bounce back after dramatic falls. And, if you have only a week or two before closing, your chances of having time for those rates to fall back to current levels are smaller than if you have a month or two to go.
So, here are my newly revised personal rate lock recommendations:
- 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 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 2.63% from 2.70%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were lower 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 tumbled to $93.95 from $99.79 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices climbed to $1,788 from $1,753 an ounce. (Good 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 — inched down to 39 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 remain 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?
After 11 months of rising — sometimes sharply rising — mortgage rates, July finally brought some relief.
Looking at Mortgage News Daily’s archive, the average rate for a conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.50% on the first day of the month, and 5.13% on the last (working) day. That’s an exceptional tumble over a single month.
More extraordinarily, all that fall happened over the last two working days of the month. On Jul. 27, that rate was 5.54%, which was very slightly up on Jul. 1.
Why the drop? Last Thursday (Jul. 28) saw the publication of disappointing gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the second quarter of this year. And those were enough to send investors into a panic about a likely recession.
What’s next for mortgage rates?
Last week, The Associated Press (AP) noted: “The U.S. economy is caught in an awkward, painful place. A confusing one, too.” Its article went on to describe the conflicting economic data that have left markets unsure whether the US is in or out of a recession, and whether investors should be more worried by that or high inflation.
Unsurprisingly, periods of such uncertainty bring volatility across markets, including in the one that largely determines mortgage rates. That’s where mortgage-backed securities are traded. And it’s the yield on those bonds that’s the single biggest influence on those rates.
Last Thursday’s worse-than-expected GDP figures persuaded investors that recession was a bigger threat than inflation. And, consequently, mortgage rates plunged.
I had thought that the following day’s inflation data, which were also worse than expected, would refocus markets on rising prices. And I reckoned mortgage rates would climb that day. (Indeed, they were rising first thing that morning.) Clearly, I was wrong, because they fell further, though not as sharply as on Thursday.
However, there remains a danger that those rates might yet rise. Investors are punch drunk (“confused,” as AP put it) after so much conflicting information. And they might, upon sober reflection, decide that they went too far last Thursday and Friday.
After all, much of the fall in GDP was a result of entirely understandable inventory adjustments as companies responded to changing patterns of demand. Consumers altered their spending priorities following the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, switching back to more services (eating out, traveling, going to the gym ...) and fewer goods. So much of the fall in GDP did not reflect a fundamental weakening in the economy.
Risk of rise
In any event, precipitous falls in mortgage rates are often followed by dramatic rises — just as big rises are often followed by large falls. So don’t make too many assumptions about how rates will move this week. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings. And she might still be in the wings.
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.
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.