Today's mortgage and refinance rates
Average mortgage rates were unchanged on New Year's Eve. And they ended 2020 so close to their all-time low that few would notice the difference.
There's a lot more potential for volatility this week. But probably not today. At the moment it looks like this Mortgage rates are likely to rise quite modestly today.
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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 Lock a Low Rate (Jan 5, 2021)
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?
I would close today if my closing date was scheduled for January. I would probably float if it was due later. But I would know that I could wait for a nerve-wracking ride.
Because this month (and especially this week – see below for details) we may be experiencing more volatility than we are used to. Of course, that is not a certainty. But it's somewhere between a probability and a possibility. The ability of lenders to protect borrowers from sharp movements in the bond markets is nearly exhausted.
In the long term, I still believe that mortgage rates will have to fall further in the next few months – until vaccines really turn the pandemic back on. But this month could be an exception.
So 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 roughly the same time yesterday morning, were:
The 10-year Treasury yield was higher at 0.94% from 0.92%. (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 mostly 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 as high as $ 48.38 $ 48.05 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 higher at $ 1,944 of $ 1,901 per ounce. (Good 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 & Greed Index – Increased from 49 to 54 from 100. (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 get a pretty good idea 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 probably move up today.
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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?
My assumption is that mortgage rates will rise today, although probably not by much.
However, tomorrow's Senate outflow in Georgia poses a real threat to mortgage rates. If Republicans win one or both seats, little is likely to change.
But if Democratic candidates win both, their party will take control of the US Senate, as well as the House and the White House. And that will likely lead to more generous pandemic relief measures.
The bond markets are likely to agree. And mortgage rates could rise – perhaps noticeably and for weeks.
Of course, nothing is certain. And it can take several days for the races to be called. But even signs of two Democratic Party's victories could rise early as investors position themselves ahead of actual results.
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 most recent such record was set on December 24th. On New Year's Eve, Freddie reported that his weekly average was imperceptibly higher (one hundredth of 1%) than the previous week.
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 rate forecasts for each quarter of 2021 (Q1 / 21, Q2 / 21, Q3 / 21 and Q4 / 21).
Note, however, that fannies (published December 15th) and the MBA (December 21st) 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:
Q1 / 21
Q2 / 21
Q3 / 21
Q4 / 21
So the predictions vary considerably. You pay your money …
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.
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Mortgage rate method
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We'll 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.