Today’s mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates shot up yesterday, hitting a high last seen in 2009. Before then, of course, rates were usually higher or much higher than they are now. But that’s not much consolation because we’ve grown used to super-low rates.
So far this morning, mortgage rates today look likely to fall. But that could change as the day progresses. This morning’s publication of March’s consumer price index was close enough to expectations for markets to treat it as good news.
Current mortgage and refinance rates
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed
30 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA
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.
Often after the sorts of increases we saw last Friday and yesterday, markets pause for breath. And mortgage rates plateau or fall. That may be what’s happening this morning. But you can’t rely on such events to deliver sustained falls.
Yesterday, I wrote about mortgage rates,” … if they go only a bit higher, they’ll touch their highest point since 2011.” Well, they did that — and more — in a single day. And yesterday evening they were at their highest since 2009, according to Mortgage News Daily.
In these circumstances, delaying locking your rate just in case some worthwhile and sustained falls come along seems to me to be a triumph of hope over experience. Of course, nothing’s impossible. But it’s looking pretty unlikely.
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 yesterday, were:
The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell to 2.72% from 2.75%. (Good for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yieldsMajor 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 relationshipOil prices rose to $99.43 from $94.29 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a large role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity Gold prices rose to $1,971 from $1,967 an ounce. (Neutral 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 lowerCNN Business Fear & Greed index — inched up to 48 from 47 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 fall. 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 advertisedLenders 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 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?
You may have noticed something odd. On some days, most markets are looking friendly toward mortgage rates. And yet I still predict a rise and turn out to be correct. Today is an almost exact mirror image.
That happened yesterday. All the market indicators listed above, except one, showed “Good for mortgage rates.” But I still said I thought mortgage rates would rise. How come?
Well, there are three reasons:
That one exception was the yield on 10-year Treasury notes. And it’s much more closely aligned with mortgage rates than any of the othersI cheat. I also take a peek at price movements for mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) each morning. And those bonds largely determine mortgage ratesWith so much disruption at the moment, many market indicators that normally form part of the rates landscape are moving for reasons that have nothing to do with mortgage rates
Take yesterday. Oil prices were moving down because China has implemented a savage (now easing) COVID-19 lockdown. And that could reduce world demand for oil, lowering its price. But that change was unlikely to have much effect on mortgage rates.
Meanwhile, gold and stock markets were spooked by worries that the Federal Reserve’s anti-inflationary measures could cause a recession. If it happens, that ultimately might cause mortgage rates to fall — but probably not for months, if at all. And higher mortgage rates are a part of those markets’ concerns.
I will continue to provide daily insights into all the markets I currently quote. Because, usually, they’re helpful. But don’t take them too seriously for as long as the current turbulence continues.
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.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with extended periods of rises and falls. Unfortunately, the rises have grown more pronounced since last September.
Freddie’s Apr. 7 report puts that same weekly average for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 4.72% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 4.67%. But most of that week’s sharp rises won’t be included in that Apr. 7 figure.
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 Mar. 17 and the MBA’s on Mar. 22. But Freddie now publishes these forecasts every quarter, most recently on Jan. 21. So its figures are already looking very stale.
ForecasterQ1/22Q2/22Q3/22Q4/22Fannie Mae3.7%3.8% 3.8%3.9%Freddie Mac3.5%3.6% 3.7%3.7%MBA3.8%4.2% 4.4%4.5%
Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. Indeed, some of those numbers are starting to look silly, given where rates have climbed since the forecasts were published. And 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.