Mortgage

Mortgage and refinance charges at present, Might 16, 2022

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates moved higher last Friday, bringing an excellent week for them to a disappointing end. Indeed, Mortgage News Daily reckons it was the best seven days for those rates in nearly two years.

Markets couldn’t make up their minds which way to move first thing this morning. And mortgage rates today started off improving before ending up close to neutral by nearly 10 a.m. (ET). So, anything might happen later today.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program
Mortgage Rate
APR*
Change

Conventional 30 year fixed
5.522%
5.546%
Unchanged

Conventional 15 year fixed
4.71%
4.743%
Unchanged

Conventional 20 year fixed
5.435%
5.472%
Unchanged

Conventional 10 year fixed
4.546%
4.606%
-0.01%

30 year fixed FHA
5.519%
6.314%
Unchanged

15 year fixed FHA
4.98%
5.434%
Unchanged

30 year fixed VA
5.125%
5.341%
Unchanged

15 year fixed VA
5.471%
5.822%
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.

Last week brought some worthwhile falls for mortgage rates, swamping a couple of much smaller rises. However, with so much market volatility, it’s much too soon to assume there are sustained periods of falls ahead.

Of course, there may be. But my gut feeling is that we aren’t yet done with rising mortgage rates.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations for the longer term remain:

LOCK if closing in 7 daysLOCK if closing in 15 daysLOCK if closing in 30 daysLOCK if closing in 45 daysLOCK 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 2.87% from 2.92%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yieldsMajor 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 relationshipOil prices increased to $110.51 from $108.97 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity Gold prices edged up to $1,806 from $1,802 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 lowerCNN Business Fear & Greed index — rose to 12 from 9 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 are unpredictable having already moved up and down earlier this morning. 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 advertisedLenders 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 timeWhen daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the sameRefinance 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?

Last week brought some hope that inflation might have peaked. The consumer price index showed prices rose more slowly in April than in March. However, the slowdown was tiny. And one Wall Street Journal reporter yesterday remarked in an e-newsletter, “peak schmeak.”

This suggests that the falls last week in mortgage rates might be more fragile and less sustainable than many had hoped. But we won’t know for sure for some time.

Tomorrow’s retail sales figures for April might help markets make up their minds about how the economy’s doing. We may see mortgage rates resume their upward trend if those numbers are good.

Risk aversion

Last week, Rob Chrisman, who’s a highly respected commentator on all things mortgage-related, wrote something that might affect your decision to float or lock your rate. He said:

People feel the pain of losses much more than they feel the pleasure of gains. Empirical studies suggest that losing is twice as painful as winning is enjoyable.

And he quoted a former mortgage originator who observed, ” … clients who opted to float at app (on application) were much unhappier if rates went up than happy if rates dropped.”

Naturally, you shouldn’t lock prematurely if there’s a good chance of mortgage rates falling. But, if there’s a serious chance they’ll rise, you might be happier locking early.

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 shooting up since the start of 2022.

Freddie’s May 12 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.3% (with 0.9 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.27%. That will have missed some of the falls on days later in the week.

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 Apr. 19, Freddie’s on Apr. 18, and the MBA’s on Apr. 13.

ForecasterQ2/22Q3/22Q4/22Q1/23Fannie Mae4.6%4.5% 4.5%4.5%Freddie Mac4.8%4.8% 5.0%5.0%MBA4.7%4.8% 4.8%4.8%

Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. I’m afraid I’m less optimistic than any of them.

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.

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