Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates fell sharply yesterday. And last week was an excellent one for those rates.
But things are looking less promising in markets this morning. And mortgage rates today look likely to rise moderately or modestly.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||3.973%||3.996%||+0.02%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||3.317%||3.352%||Unchanged|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||3.827%||3.861%||+0.02%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||3.272%||3.337%||+0.06%|
|30 year fixed FHA||4.196%||4.959%||+0.03%|
|15 year fixed FHA||3.591%||4.213%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM FHA||4.75%||4.708%||+0.09%|
|30 year fixed VA||4.137%||4.344%||Unchanged|
|15 year fixed VA||3.213%||3.542%||Unchanged|
|5/1 ARM VA||4.75%||3.847%||+0.09%|
|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?
You probably shouldn’t lock your mortgage rate on any day when they look likely to fall. But it would be best if you were ready to do so as soon as those rates look likely to move appreciably higher.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its 12th day, markets remain turbulent. And further falls in mortgage rates may yet turn up. But, personally, I suspect those falls will tail off. And will be replaced by rises. Still, plenty disagree with me. Read on for a broader discussion.
Nevertheless, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term 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 1.77% from 1.73%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes fell 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 rose to $117.01 from $113.45 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices increased to $1,981 from $1,961 an ounce. (Good for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is 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 – plunged to 14 from 20 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 change of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a fraction of 1%. 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 might 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:
- 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 wider 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 coming hours, days, weeks or months.
Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (paywall) explored the inflationary pressures that Russia’s actions – and the international community’s sanctions in response to those – are creating.
If you visited a gas station over the weekend, you were probably shocked by the cost of a gallon. In some parts of the country, the price of a gallon of Supreme–grade gas was $6 ($5.999), though the average nationwide across all grades was $4.009 on Sunday, according to The New York Times (paywall). But, chances are, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Because global oil prices are still on an upward trajectory.
But it’s not just oil we have to worry about. The Journal listed several commodity prices that were rising sharply in the wake of Russia’s war. As the newspaper reported:
The conflict is stressing an already strained global supply chain, and its economic impact will likely be felt in households worldwide, at supermarkets, retailers and the gas pump. While higher costs will take time to work their way from producers to consumers, executives and analysts expect the war’s fallout to worsen inflation already stoked by shortages of goods and workers.
So, stand by for more costly food. Grain prices reached a 14–year high while fertilizer prices are also rising. And, with oil prices affecting almost every sector of the economy, noticeable inflation at “farms, supermarkets and retailers,” to quote the Journal.
Inflation and the Fed
The uncertainty caused by Russia’s war may have pushed mortgage rates down. But for how long will that last?
The Federal Reserve was already spooked by prewar inflation and had expressed its determination to tackle it with measures that would almost certainly push mortgage rates higher.
And, last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told legislators that the war in Ukraine would not cause his organization to back off. He also predicted during his testimony that “Mortgage rates will go up.”
Meanwhile, inflation is rising daily. And it’s likely to force the Fed to deploy even more aggressive countermeasures, pushing mortgage rates higher and higher.
So the falls in mortgage rates we saw last week may be short–lived. And they might be followed by steep rises. So, by all means, take full advantage of any further decreases. But be ready to lock your rate before that window of opportunity slams shut.
For a more detailed look at what’s happening to mortgage rates, read the latest weekend edition of this report.
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.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, the rises have grown more pronounced since last September, though not consistently so.
Freddie’s March 3 report puts that weekly average for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages at 3.76% (with 0.8 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 3.89%. But that report won’t have included that Wednesday’s sharp rise.
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 four quarters of 2022 (Q1/22, Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22).
The numbers in the table below are for 30–year, fixed–rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on Feb. 18 and the MBA’s on Feb. 25. But Freddie now publishes these forecasts every quarter, most recently on Jan. 21.
Note that those figures were issued before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts may be even more speculative than usual.
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.
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.