Today's mortgage and refinancing rates
Average mortgage rates rose slightly again yesterday. And they're creeping up to their highest level in the last month.
Mortgage rates are likely to be a few inches higher today. But that can change over the course of the hours.
Find your lowest plan. Start here (December 8th, 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 price can be different. Click here for an individual price offer. View our rate assumptions here.
Should You Lock A Mortgage Rate Today?
So far this month mortgage rates have risen four times and fallen once. As much as I hate hacking up and changing my personal rate lock recommendations, I'm going to switch them back to Lock today.
But that can change again soon. For the moment, investors see the likely impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as sunny. But that could change quickly if public health researchers uncover data showing the exposure is more frightening than many currently think.
So, if you think Omicron is going to do significant harm to the economy, you can keep your interest rate free. Because that could mean lower mortgage rates.
However, as of this morning, my personal rate lock recommendations are:
LOCK when close in 7th DaysLOCK when close in fifteen DaysLOCK when close in 30th DaysLOCK when close in 45 DaysLOCK when close in 60 Days
> Related: 7 tips for the best refinancing rate
Market Data Affecting Mortgage Rates Today
Here is a snapshot of the current status this morning at around 9:50 a.m. ET. The dates, compared to roughly the same time yesterday, were:
the 10 year Treasury note yield increased from 1.45% to 1.50%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates usually follow these particular government bond yieldsImportant 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. But that's an imperfect relationshipOil prices rose from $ 71.58 a barrel to $ 71.79. (Neutral for mortgage rates *.) Energy prices play a major role in the development of inflation and also indicate future economic activity Gold prices decreased from $ 1,782 an ounce to $ 1,781. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) In general, prices are better when gold is rising and worse when gold is falling. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And concerned investors tend to cut ratesCNN Business Fear & Greed Index – increased from 31 from 100 to 37. (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
* 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 record for accuracy won't hit its old highs until things settle down.
Use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be extraordinarily strong or weak to be able to rely on them. But with this caveat, Mortgage rates are likely to rise today modest. Note, however, that "intraday swings" (when prices change direction during the day) are a common feature these days.
Find your lowest plan. Start here (December 8th, 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. Read How Mortgage Rates Are Determined And Why You Should Care Only top borrowers (with great credit scores, big down payments, and very healthy finances) 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 movements – though they all follow the broader trend over time when daily price changes are small, some lenders adjust closing costs and keep their price lists the same. Funding rates are usually close at the 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?
After a shocked reaction to the initial announcement of the Omicron variant discovery, markets appear to have adopted a wait-and-see attitude. And current trading seems to be all but ignoring the economic risks posed by the new burden.
So for now, the forces that tried to drive mortgage rates up before Omicron was discovered are dominating again. We don't see a sharp rise in bond yields and mortgage rates. But they're pretty consistent. And they're mainly being driven by warm inflation and the withdrawal of US Federal Reserve support for artificially low mortgage rates.
So what I said before Omicron – that I expected those rates to gently push up – is true again.
The markets may well prove correct with their relaxed view of the Omicron threats. But nobody knows exactly yet.
Here's how the Washington Post summed up the situation yesterday:
Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said Tuesday that the Omicron variant appears to cause less serious illness – although he warned that the available data are preliminary and anecdotal. But new evidence suggests it's more transferable than previous variants, Fauci said. Meanwhile, a new laboratory study in South Africa shows that the Omicron variant has significant, but incomplete, ability to bypass virus-fighting antibodies generated by the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
– Washington Post, "Omicron appears to cause milder disease, Fauci says as study shows antibody bypassing" (Paywall), December 7, 2021
You can summarize this as “nobody knows much”. So keep expecting volatility as new data emerges.
Further background information can be found in the weekend edition of this daily report from Saturday.
The general trend in mortgage rates was clearly declining for much of 2020. And according to Freddie Mac, it hit 16 new weekly all-time lows last year.
The latest weekly record low was recorded on January 7th when it was 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.
Since then, the picture has been mixed with longer phases of ascent and descent. Unfortunately, the increases have become more pronounced since September, if not constant.
Freddies Dec 2 Report gives this weekly average for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 3.11% (with 0.6 fees and points), easy high from 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 current quarter of 2021 (Q4 / 21) and the first three quarters of 2022 (Q1 / 22, Q2 / 22 and Q3 / 22).
The numbers in the table below apply to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. Fannies were released on November 18th and the MBAs on November 22nd.
Freddie’s was released on October 15th. It now only updates its forecasts every quarter. So maybe we won't get another of these until January.
ForecastersQ4 / 21Q1 / 22Q2 / 22Q3 / 22Fannie Mae 3.1% 3.2% 3.3% 3.3% Freddie Mac 3.2% 3.4% 3.5% 3.6% MBA 3.1% 3.3% 3.5% 3.7%
However, with so many imponderables, all of the current predictions can be even more speculative than usual.
And none of these forecasters suspected that Omicron could completely change the models on which they are based.
Find your lowest price today
Some lenders have been terrified by the pandemic. And they limit their offerings to mortgages and refinancing with the most vanilla flavor.
But others remain brave. And you can still likely find the refinance, investment mortgage, or jumbo loan you want. All you have to do is look around.
But of course, whatever type of mortgage you want, you should make extensive comparisons. As a federal regulator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:
Real savings can be achieved when looking for your mortgage. It may not sound like a lot, but it does If you save even a quarter interest on your mortgage, you will save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
Confirm your new plan (December 8, 2021)
Mortgage rate methodology
The mortgage reports receive interest rates based on selected criteria from multiple credit partners on a daily basis. We'll find an average interest rate and an APR for each type of loan shown on our chart. By averaging a number 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. Example: FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of the daily rates and how they change over time.