Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates rose yesterday. And they're now near the top of the tight change they've been moving in for a month or two. Read on to find out what happened. Meanwhile, Freddie Mac's chief economist remarked this morning, "Overall, rates remain low, with a window of opportunity for those who refinance below three percent."
This morning the major markets were the first to signal this Mortgage rates could rise again today. But yesterday reminded us that these early signs are not always reliable.
Find and lock a cheap rate (August 27, 2021)
Current mortgage and refinancing rates
Effective interest rate*
Conventional 30 years
Conventionally fixed for 15 years
Conventional 20 years old
Conventionally fixed for 10 years
30 years permanent FHA
Fixed FTA for 15 years
5/1 ARM FHA
30 years of permanent VA
15 years fixed VA
Prices are provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your rate can be different. Click here for an individual price offer. View our rate assumptions here.
Find and lock a cheap rate (August 27, 2021)
COVID-19 Mortgage Updates: Mortgage lenders are changing interest rates and rules due to COVID-19. Click here to learn how the coronavirus could affect your home loan.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
Does yesterday's unexpected rise in mortgage rates mean that rates are no longer calm? It is too early to conclude. But we may have a little more volatility than we've gotten used to in the last few months or so. Or much more, depending on what the Fed chairman says in his speech tomorrow morning.
And that puts the focus on the risks of continuing to fluctuate your interest rate. Yes, prices can go down again. However, I suspect the increases will likely outweigh the decreases as measured over weeks and months. So, if I were you, I'd be blocking my rate soon. But not me. And you may be more willing to take risks than I am.
My personal rate lock recommendations remain for the time being:
LOCK when close in 7th DaysLOCK when close in fifteen DaysLOCK when close in 30th DaysHOVER when close in 45 DaysHOVER when close in 60 Days
However, I am not claiming perfect foresight. And your personal analysis could be as good as mine – or better. So let your instincts and your personal risk tolerance guide you.
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here's a snapshot of what was now this morning at around 9:50 a.m. ET. The dates, compared to about the same time yesterday, were:
the 10 year Treasury note yield increased from 1.31% to 1.36%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually follow these particular government bond yields
Important stock indices were mixed shortly after opening. (Neutral for mortgage rates.Often times, when investors buy stocks, they sell bonds, which depresses the prices of those stocks and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite can happen when the indices are lower
Oil prices dropped to $ 67.30 from $ 67.56 a barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play a huge role in creating inflation and also indicate future economic activity.
Gold prices declined from $ 1,787 $ 1,791 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage ratesIn general, it is better for interest rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to cut rates
CNN Business Fear and Greed Index – increased from 42 to 47 From 100. (Bad for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) when they exit the bond market and invest in stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower values are better than higher ones
* A change of less than $ 20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a fraction of 1%. Therefore, when it comes to mortgage rates, we only count meaningful differences as good or bad.
Reservations about markets and prices
Before 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 as to what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that is no longer the case. We still use the phone every day. And they are mostly right. But our records for accuracy will not reach its previous high levels until things settle down.
Use markets as a rough guide only. Because they have to be extraordinarily strong or weak to be able to rely on them. But with this restriction so far Mortgage rates are likely to rise today. Note, however, that "intraday swings" (when prices change direction during the day) are a common feature these days.
Find and lock a cheap rate (August 27, 2021)
Important information about current mortgage rates
Here are some things you need to know:
Usually mortgage rates go up when the economy is doing well and go down when the economy is in trouble. But there are exceptions. Reading & # 39;How Mortgage Rates Are Determined and Why You Should Care About It
Only “top notch” borrowers (with great credit scores, high down payments, and very healthy finances) will get the extremely low mortgage rates you see advertised
Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily price action – though they usually all follow the broader trend over time
When the daily price changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and leave their price lists unchanged
The refinancing rates are usually close to those for purchases. And a recent regulatory change has closed a pre-existing loophole
So there is a lot going on here. And no one can claim to know for sure what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks, or months.
Are mortgage and refinancing rates rising or falling?
today and so forth
The prevailing belief right now is that investors are keeping mortgage rates (and government bond yields) low because they are concerned about the economic damage the COVID-19 delta variant could wreak.
To hedge against this, general investors are allegedly buying heaps of mortgage-backed securities (MBSs – the kind of bonds that make a big difference in mortgage rates) and government bonds, which drives their prices up. And bond prices and yields inevitably move the other way around. The higher the price, the lower the return – or the mortgage rate.
Voilà! This is why mortgage rates are currently low even though the economy is booming and inflation is higher than usual.
Or is it? How do you explain that various stock indices regularly set record highs when investors crouch in the shadow of the delta variant?
The role of the banks
Yesterday the New York Times proposed an alternative explanation. Under the headline "Banks are obsessed with bonds, but not because they want to" (Paywall), it suggested that banks are inundated with deposits but currently have too few credit options to place that money profitably. It went on:
As a result, banks are largely preoccupied with investing in one of the least lucrative assets: sovereign debt. Government bond rates are still near historically low levels, but banks are buying government bonds like never before. In the second quarter of 2021, banks bought approximately $ 150 billion worth of Treasury, according to a note released earlier this month by JPMorgan analysts.
Take a moment now and throw away your soaked handkerchief.
Almost certainly some of the banks' money has been invested in mortgage-backed securities, simply because investors often choose between these and Treasuries when they want ultra-safe, low-yielding bonds. Because of this, MBS yields usually overshadow those of 10 year Treasury bills.
The role of the Fed
In addition to banks that buy bonds, the Federal Reserve buys even larger quantities. JPMorgan estimates banks are spending about $ 50 billion a month on Treasuries, which equates to $ 150 billion a quarter. But the Fed buys $ 80 billion worth of US Treasuries every month.
And the Fed's MBS purchases alone cost $ 40 billion a month in new money, plus sometimes $ 60 billion in recycled funds. Add in the likely contribution of the banks and suddenly you see why mortgage rates are currently so low when they normally should be increasing.
But the Fed has been signaling in recent months that it wants to "slow down and then stop" its MBS and Treasury purchases. And once it stops keeping mortgage rates artificially low, even if banks keep buying at their current rate, we'll likely see them rise.
But nobody knows exactly when the tapering will start, and it is very likely that it will happen within the next four months.
Powell's speech tomorrow
And that brings us to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. ET. I've been following it all week because it might turn out to be crucial. That's because investors around the world will analyze every word he says in hopes of finding clues as to when the tapering might begin.
It was a time when some thought Mr Powell might actually announce the entire Fed throttling program during his speech. But that seems like a minor possibility now.
And it's entirely possible that he will choose not to drop even the vague hint. But if he announces something new about tapering, it will likely increase mortgage rates – more likely up, depending on what he says.
Indeed, yesterday's rise in mortgage rates can be explained, at least in part, by investors positioning themselves ahead of this speech. And if that's the case, maybe we'll see more of it today.
For more background information, see Saturday's weekend edition of this column. And the longer-term forecast of my colleague Tim Lucas, Mortgage Rate Forecast and Trends: Will rates fall in September 2021?
Recently – Updated today
The general trend in mortgage rates was clearly declining for much of 2020. And according to Freddie Mac, a new weekly all-time low was hit 16 times in the past year.
The most recent weekly record low was recorded on January 7th when it was 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. But then the trend was reversed and interest rates rose.
However, these increases have been largely replaced by decreases since April, albeit typically small. Freddie's August 26 report puts this weekly average at 2.87% (with 0.6 fees and points). high compared to 2.86% the previous week.
Expert predictions for mortgage rates
Looking ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists devoted to monitoring and forecasting developments in the economy, real estate and mortgage rates.
And here are their current interest rate forecasts for the remaining quarters of 2021 (Q3 / 21 and Q4 / 21) and the first two quarters of 2022 (Q1 / 22 and Q2 / 22).
The numbers in the table below apply to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fannies and the MBAs were updated on August 19th. However, Freddies was last updated on July 15th as these numbers are now only released quarterly.
Q3 / 21
Q4 / 21
Q1 / 22
Q2 / 22
However, with so many imponderables, current forecasts could be even more speculative than usual.
All of these predictions anticipate higher mortgage rates soon. But the differences between the forecasters are stark. And Fannie may not be involved in curbing Federal Reserve mortgage support while Freddie and the MBA do.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they are limiting their offerings to vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinancing.
But others remain brave. And you can still probably find the refinance, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. All you have to do is look around.
But of course, no matter what type of mortgage you want, you should compare widely. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping for your mortgage has the potential to result in real savings. It may not sound like much, but if you save only a quarter point in interest on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Confirm your new price (August 27, 2021)
Mortgage rate methodology
The mortgage reports receive daily interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners. We'll find an average interest rate and an APR for each type of loan shown on our chart. Since we average a range of prices, this will give you a better idea of what you might find in the market. In addition, we determine average interest rates for the same types of credit. For example FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.