Today’s Mortgage and Refinance Rates
Average mortgage rates fell significantly yesterday. But even this worthwhile drop hasn’t made much of a splash in recent rises. And mortgage rates start this morning considerably higher than they were at this time last week.
So far this morning it seems like mortgage rates may rise today. But we’ve seen many times recently (including yesterday) how markets can start doing one thing and end up doing something completely different later in the day.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
|30-year fixed conventional||5.131%||5.158%||+0.08%|
|15-year fixed conventional||4.263%||4.298%||+0.09%|
|20-year fixed conventional||5.136%||5.175%||+0.06%|
|10-year fixed conventional||4.217%||4.298%||-0.03%|
|30-year fixed FHA||5.232%||6.043%||+0.17%|
|15-year fixed FHA||4.32%||4.6%||-0.55%|
|30-year fixed PV||4.902%||5.119%||Unchanged|
|15-year fixed VA||4.625%||4.968%||Unchanged|
|Pricing is provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your rate may be different. Click here for a personalized quote. See our rate assumptions here.|
Should you lock in a mortgage rate today?
Don’t lock in on a day when mortgage rates look set to drop. My recommendations (below) are intended to provide longer-term suggestions on the general direction of these rates. Thus, they do not change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.
Mortgage rates have risen 1.5 percentage points in the past three months alone, the fastest three-month rise since May 1994.
In this environment, it makes sense to me to lock in your mortgage rate as soon as possible. Of course, no one can promise you that these rates won’t drop significantly at some point for an extended period of time. But that seems unlikely any time soon.
So my personal longer term rate lock recommendations remain:
- LOCK if closing 7 days
- LOCK if closing 15 days
- LOCK if closing 30 days
- LOCK if closing 45 days
- LOCK if closing 60 days
>Related: 7 tips for getting the best refinance rate
Market Data Affecting Today’s Mortgage Rates
Here is an overview of the situation this morning around 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared to around the same time yesterday, was:
- the yield on 10-year treasury bills climbed to 2.71% from 2.64%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular treasury yields
- Main stock indices were mostly weaker shortly after opening. (Good for mortgage rates.) When investors buy stocks, they often sell bonds, which lowers bond prices and raises yields and mortgage rates. The opposite can happen when the indices are weaker. But it’s an imperfect relationship
- Oil prices fell to $96.45 from $97.71 a barrel. (Good for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a big role in creating inflation and also indicate future economic activity
- gold price rose to $1,942 from $1,933 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it’s better for rates when gold goes up, and worse when gold goes down. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates down
- CNN Business Fear & Greed Index — was again unchanged 48 out of 100. (Neutral for mortgage rates.) “greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) when they exit the bond market and turn to equities, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones
* A movement of less than $20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a change of 1% or less. We therefore only consider significant differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.
Market and rate warnings
Prior to the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good guess of what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But this is no longer the case. We are still making daily calls. And are usually right. But our accuracy record won’t reach its former high levels until things stabilize.
So use the markets only as an indication. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to be relied upon. But, with this caveat, mortgage rates may rise today. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.
Important Notes About Today’s Mortgage Rates
Here are some things you should know:
- Typically, mortgage rates rise when the economy is doing well and fall when it is struggling. But there are exceptions. Lily ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care‘
- Only “top tier” borrowers (with great credit scores, large down payments, and very healthy finances) get the ultra-low mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
- Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements – although they all generally follow the larger trend over time
- When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rates unchanged
- Refinance rates are generally close to purchase rates.
There’s a lot going on right now. And no one can claim to know for sure what will happen to mortgage rates in the hours, days, weeks or months to come.
Are mortgage and refinance rates going up or down?
Another day, another senior Federal Reserve official warns that the central bank will do whatever it takes to get inflation under control. Yesterday, it was the turn of the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, James Bullard, to repeat this message.
Bullard said the economy was strong enough to absorb the Fed’s plans, which include higher general interest rates and the rapid reduction of its bond holdings, which include trillions of dollars in mortgage bonds. Both of these policies are likely to drive up mortgage rates.
Some fear that an overly aggressive line from the Fed could cause a recession. And maybe that’s good.
But that argument was blunted yesterday by new weekly unemployment figures. In the week ending April 2, the number of new unemployment insurance claims was 166,000. And that was the lowest figure since November 1968.
So the Fed thinks it has enough leeway to contain inflation without hurting the economy as a whole too much. We’ll have to wait to see if it’s good. But for now, his policies should continue to put upward pressure on mortgage rates.
Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more information.
For much of 2020, the general trend in mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new weekly all-time low was set 16 times that year, according to Freddie Mac.
The most recent weekly record low occurred on January 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed rate mortgages.
Since then, the chart has been mixed with long stretches of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the increases have accelerated since last September.
Freddie’s April 7 report places that same weekly average for 30-year fixed rate mortgages at 4.72% (with 0.8 fees and points), at the top compared to 4.67% the previous week. But most of the sharp rises this week will not be included in that April 7 figure.
Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.8 fee and points”) at close which earn you a lower rate. If you don’t, your rate will be closer to what we and others quote.
Expert Mortgage Rate Forecasts
Longer term, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have 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 figures in the table below are for 30-year fixed rate mortgages. Those of Fannie were published on March 17 and those of the MBA on March 22. But Freddie now releases those forecasts quarterly, most recently on Jan. 21. Its figures therefore already seem very obsolete.
Of course, given so much unknowable, the current set of forecasts could be even more speculative than usual. I’m afraid I’m less optimistic than any of them.
Find your lowest rate today
You should do a lot of comparison shopping no matter what type of mortgage you want. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said:
“Shopping around for your mortgage can save you real money. It may not seem like much, but saving even a quarter point of interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the term of your loan.
Mortgage Rate Methodology
Mortgage reports receive daily rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average a range of prices, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the market. In addition, we average the rates for the same loan types. For example, fixed FHA with fixed FHA. The end result is a good overview of daily rates and how they change over time.
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute advertising 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 company or affiliates.