Today's mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates went back down on Christmas Eve, which meant the daily numbers ended the week they started.
Will we have a similar quiet time this week? If anything is likely to make a big difference, it is President Donald Trump's signing of the Pandemic Relief Act last night that also prevented the government from closing. But until now Mortgage rates are likely to rise only slightly today. You can even stay calm.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 29, 2020)
Current mortgage and refinancing rates
Conventional 30 years fixed
Conventional 15 years fixed
Conventional 5-year ARM
Fixed FTA for 30 years
Fixed FTA for 15 years
5 years ARM FHA
30 years permanent VA
15 years fixed VA
5 years ARM VA
Prices are provided by our partner network and may not reflect the market. Your rate could be different. Click here for a personalized price offer. See our tariff assumptions here.
Find and block a low rate (December 29, 2020)
COVID-19 Mortgage Updates: Mortgage lenders are changing interest rates and rules due to COVID-19. For the latest information on the impact of Coronavirus on your home loan, click here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
This week could be an important one. And normally I would expect some sharp move in mortgage rates when dramas (see below for details) play out.
But there were also many dramatic events last week. And these prices barely moved these days. So it is quite possible that we will see little movement again.
Assuming it's a game of chance. And mortgage rates are currently at or near their all-time lows. So many will view discretion as the greatest part of bravery and will now choose to lock down.
Those willing to take the risk of floating further can be rewarded with all-time new lows. But they could be punished by higher rates.
Personally, I'm not that brave at all. So I'd probably lock up if my closing date was scheduled for January and hover if I had to wait longer. And my personal recommendations for tariff blocking remain:
LOCK when you approach 7th DaysLOCK when you approach 15th DaysLOCK when you approach 30th DaysHOVER when you approach 45 DaysHOVER when you approach 60 Days
But with so much uncertainty right now, your instincts could easily turn out to be as good as mine – or better. So let your gut and your personal risk tolerance guide you.
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here is the current status at 9:50 a.m. (ET) this morning. The dates, compared to around the same time on Christmas Eve morning, were:
The 10-year Treasury yield Inches up to 0.95% of 0.94%. (Bad for mortgage ratesMore than any other market, mortgage rates usually tend to follow these particular government bond yields, albeit more recentlyImportant stock indices were higher when opened. (Bad for mortgage rates.Often times, when investors buy stocks, they sell bonds, which lowers the prices of those bonds and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite happens when the indices are lower. Oil prices rose from $ 48.06 to $ 48.06 $ 47.81 per barrel. (Neutral for mortgage rates * because energy prices play a major role in causing inflation and also indicate future economic activity.) Gold prices were at $ 1,892 of $ 1,877 per ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, it is better for interest rates when gold rises and worse for interest rates when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to cut rates. CNN Business Fear & Greed Index – Dropped from 55 from 100 to 54. (Good for mortgage interest.) "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. Lower readings are therefore better than higher ones
* A change of less than $ 20 in gold prices or 40 cents in oil prices is a fraction of 1%. Hence, we count significant differences in mortgage rates only as good or bad.
Reservations about markets and prices
Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve's intervention in the mortgage market, you could look at the numbers above and make a pretty good estimate of what would happen to mortgage rates that day. However, this is no longer the case. The Fed is a big player now and a few days can overwhelm investor sentiment.
Use markets only as a rough guide. They have to be exceptionally strong (rates are likely to rise) or weak (they could fall) to be relied on. But so far they have been searching with this restriction just a bit worse for mortgage rates today.
Find and Block a Low Rate (December 29, 2020)
Important Notes About Today's Mortgage Rates
Here are some things you need to know:
The continued intervention of the Fed in the mortgage market (well over $ 1 trillion) should continue to put pressure on these rates. But it can't always work miracles. So expect both short-term increases and decreases. And read: “For once, the Fed affects mortgage rates. Here's why: "If you want to understand this aspect of what is happening, mortgage rates usually go up when the economy is doing well and go down when they're in trouble." There are exceptions, however. Read about how mortgage rates are determined and why you should care. Only top notch borrowers (with great credit scores, high down payments, and very healthy finances) will get the ultra-low mortgage rates for which the listed lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily interest rate movements – though they usually all follow the broader trend over time. When interest rate changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and leave their interest rate cards the same. Refinancing rates are usually close to these for purchases. However, some types of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinancing are currently significantly higher after a change in regulations
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?
Mortgage rates are most likely a bit higher today. And they could just stay calm.
This week's big drama should be a will-he-or-not-he story. But last night the president signed a law designed to bring pandemic relief and prevent the government from closing.
In normal times, the president who signs this bill should drive mortgage rates up. However, right now, the markets are suggesting these rates will be just inches higher today. In fact, the movement so far has been so weak that it could remain stable.
Maybe that's not so surprising. Because last week there were also all sorts of dramas (the passing of this law, a Brexit trade agreement, the emergence of a new, more transmissible variety of COVID 19 …). And mortgage rates barely moved, ending the week they started.
The general trend in mortgage rates has been falling significantly in recent months. Freddie Mac has hit 16 new weekly all-time lows so far this year. The last such recording was last week – December 24th.
Mortgage Forecast Experts
Looking ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each have a team of economists devoted to monitoring and forecasting the impact on the economy, housing and mortgage rates.
And here are their current interest rate forecasts for the final quarter of 2020 (Q4 / 20) and the first three of 2021 (Q1 / 21, Q2 / 21 and Q3 / 21).
Note, however, that fannies (published December 15) and the MBA (published December 21) are updated monthly. But Freddies are now released quarterly. And the newest one was released on October 14th. So this looks downright stale.
The numbers in the table below are for 30-year fixed rate mortgages:
Q4 / 20
Q1 / 21
Q2 / 21
Q3 / 21
So the predictions vary considerably. You pay your money …
And another prognosis
On December 2nd, the National Association of Realtors threw its hat into the forecast ring. It said:
The forecast assumes that mortgage rates will slowly rise towards the end of the last half of 2021 and reach 3.4% by the end of the year.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they only limit their offerings to the most vanilla-flavored mortgages and refinances.
But others remain brave. And chances are you can still find the withdrawal refinance, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. You just need to shop broader.
But of course, no matter what type of mortgage you want, you should shop a lot in comparison. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Shopping for your mortgage can result in real savings. It might not sound like much, but if you save even a quarter point on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Check your new plan (December 29, 2020)
Mortgage rate method
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We find an average rate and an annual interest rate for each type of loan that we want to show on our chart. Since we calculate a series of average prices, this will give you a better idea of what you might find in the market. We also calculate average interest rates for the same types of loans. For example, FHA was fixed with FHA. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.