Mortgage and refinance rates today, Sep. 15, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
September 15, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday, edging just slightly higher. Unfortunately, that means a new 14-year high.

So far this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today might rise again, perhaps moderately. Of course, it’s always true that markets could change direction later in the day.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 6.254% 6.288% +0.01%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.513% 5.553% Unchanged
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 6.416% 6.47% -0.06%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.532% 5.649% +0.06%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 6.338% 7.175% +0.4%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.92% 6.531% -0.01%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.72% 5.943% +0.02%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 6.125% 6.483% 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.

Mortgage rates could rise or fall over the next three months. But, overall, I’d make a modest wager that they’re going to begin 2023 (after lots of ups and downs) where they are now or a little higher.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations 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 inched up to 3.45% from 3.44%. (Bad 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. (Sometimes 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 decreased to $85.77 from $88.80 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices dropped to $1,691 from $1,714 an ounce. (Bad 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 41 from 40 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?

It’s turning into a rough week for mortgage rates. And the only glimmer of hope I can offer is that they often fall soon after sharp rises.

However, no drop is guaranteed. And, if one turns up, I’d be surprised if it wipes out more than a fraction of this week’s increases.

Today

Events and data that make a recession more likely are bad news for most people. But they’re good for those who want lower mortgage rates. Those rates tend to fall when the economy looks as if it’s getting into trouble.

This morning brought two pieces of news that make a recession less likely, therefore pushing mortgage rates higher. However, what started out earlier as a significant rise had fallen back to a moderate one by the time we published this report.

The first bit of news came at 5:08 a.m. (ET) this morning in a tweet from Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. He wrote:

Moments ago, following more than 20 consecutive hours of negotiations at @USDOL, the rail companies and union negotiators came to a tentative agreement that balances the needs of workers, businesses, and our nation’s economy.

This looks set to head off an imminent rail strike, something that economists reckoned would have cost the US economy $2 billion a day, perhaps for an extended period.

The second piece of bad news for mortgage rates landed at 8:30 a.m. (ET) with the publication of August’s retail sales figures. At +0.3%, those were considerably better than both July’s headline number (-0.4%) and the consensus forecast among economists (0%). So, again, any recession looks more distant. And mortgage rates headed yet higher.

Coming up

After today’s retail sales figures, the next big event for mortgage rates will probably be the Federal Reserve’s coming rate hike, due to be announced on Sep. 21. Markets have already priced in a 75-basis-point (0.75%) increase, so we shouldn’t expect a big jump that day if that’s what’s delivered.

There’s an outside chance of a different rise: 50 basis points (0.5%) or 100 basis points (1%). The first could pull mortgage rates appreciably lower while the second is likely to send them skyward. While neither of those is impossible, they’re looking pretty unlikely.

Mortgage rates in the medium term

There are several possible scenarios for mortgage rates between now and the end of the year. But the one I think most likely sees them not straying far from the 6% average level for a conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. I shouldn’t be surprised by anything between 5.5% and 6.5%, with my guess being at the higher end of that range.

Of course, that’s just my personal view. And several experts disagree with me. But I struggle to see mortgage rates falling far — at least for long — while the Fed continues hiking its rates. And it says it’s planning to keep doing that at a minimum for the rest of this year.

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.

Freddie’s Sep. 15 report put that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 6.02% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.89%. Little of that Tuesday’s big rise is likely to be reflected in Freddie’s latest report.

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. Fannie’s forecast appeared on Aug. 22 and the MBA’s on Aug. 23. Freddie’s came out around Jul. 21. But it now releases forecasts only quarterly. So, expect its figures to look stale soon.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
Fannie Mae5.1%4.8% 4.7%4.5%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.3%5.2% 5.1%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. Personally, I think they’re too optimistic.

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.