Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates barely moved yesterday, easing just a little lower. And that’s been a common phenomenon through much of May. “Mortgage rates decreased for the second week in a row due to multiple headwinds that the economy is facing,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, yesterday.
Once again this morning, it’s looking as if mortgage rates today may be unchanged or barely changed. However, a very important inflation report was released earlier this morning. And sometimes markets take a while to digest such figures. So things might move later in the day.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|Conventional 30 year fixed||5.206%||5.23%||-0.06%|
|Conventional 15 year fixed||4.354%||4.383%||-0.07%|
|Conventional 20 year fixed||5.252%||5.289%||-0.03%|
|Conventional 10 year fixed||4.424%||4.49%||-0.06%|
|30 year fixed FHA||5.377%||6.146%||-0.08%|
|15 year fixed FHA||4.5%||4.92%||-0.11%|
|30 year fixed VA||4.864%||5.081%||-0.02%|
|15 year fixed VA||4.633%||4.976%||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.
For how long will mortgage rates continue to drift down? Nobody knows. On the one hand, the “multiple headwinds that the economy is facing” (from the above Freddie Mac quote) are trying to drag them lower.
But, on the other hand, continuing high inflation and the prospect of further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve are trying to push them higher.
I suspect that those upward pressures will ultimately win out, and that we’ll see higher mortgage rates all too soon. But I might be wrong.
Still, for now, 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 yesterday, were:
- The yield on 10-year Treasury notes inched down to 2.73% from 2.74%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
- Major stock indexes were 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 $113.98 from $112.68 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
- Gold prices increased to $1,855 from $1,843 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 — rose to 20 from 15 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 might hold steady or near 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?
This morning’s suite of Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) figures for April showed the rate at which inflation is rising slowing slightly. However, it remains near a 40-year high.
Meanwhile “core” inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, remained very close that month to the previous one. That may not be the clear signal that prices are stabilizing that markets wanted.
But we’ll have to wait to see how those markets react as they digest the new figures. Investors remain acutely aware that some of the factors driving inflation remain potent. Those include Russia’s war in Ukraine and the continuing disruption of supply chains.
The PCE price index is the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation. So its contents are likely to inform decisions made at the next meeting of the Fed’s monetary policy group (the Federal Open Market Committee or FOMC) on June 14-15.
In the meantime, markets remain unpredictable. And so do mortgage rates.
But there remains plenty of pessimism on Wall Street and in business. In his DealBook e-newsletter for The New York Times this morning, Andrew Ross Sorkin reports on the mood at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland:
Executives are worried about a slowdown. Nearly every conversation with chief executives was dominated by how to handle rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain shocks, with the latter two having been exacerbated by the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
This pessimism is proving good for mortgage rates, at least in the short term. But that may not last if inflation and interest rates continue to climb sharply.
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.
Freddie’s May 26 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.1% (with 0.9 fees and points), down from the previous week’s 5.25%.
Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.9 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 three quarters of 2022 (Q2/22, Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first quarter of next year (Q1/23).
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s were published on May 19, and the MBA’s on May 16. Freddie’s were released on Apr. 18. But it now updates its figures only quarterly so they’re already looking stale.
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might 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.